Aspirin no more a go-to drug
For over a decade, aspirin remained a drug of choice for cardiologists who have been quite liberal in prescribing it to heart patients, specially in the age group of 45 years and 55 years with high risk of a heart attack. Pop an aspirin and prevent heart attacks has been the mantra, as patients with risk of heart ailments were put on long term therapy.

However, recent meta-analysis of multiple studies on aspirin has changed the way cardiologists consider the drug with respect to preventing heart attacks. Cardiologists have now gradually stopped prescribing the drug, which once was a ‘go-to’ medicine for heart ailments.

Side effects
There is no doubt that aspirin, which is also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), has properties to prevent blood from clotting, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. However, last year, a meta-analysis of studies indicated that aspirin also causes Gastro Intestinal (GI) bleeding.

Published in European Heart Journal, the meta-analysis said that a daily dose of aspirin among healthy people does not save lives and causes additional bleeding. The meta-analysis of 11 aspirin therapy clinical trials involving 1.57 lakh healthy individuals found that the drug does not reduce deaths, heart attacks and even strokes.

Self-medication risky
Instead of self-medicating, it’s better to depend on cardiologists and general practitioners to figure out whether risk of bleeding in stomach or brain outweighs possible benefits to prevent heart attacks.

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