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Can taking aspirin daily affect my health? Our expert answers

Aspirin can save you from a heart attack. But knowing this is NOT enough. Here's what you should be aware of.

If you are at a high risk of suffering from a heart attack take aspirin daily.

If you ever experience a heart attack chew a tablet of aspirin immediately.

You know that aspirin can save you from a heart attack. But can anyone take aspirin? What is the right dosage? Are there any side effects of aspirin? Our expert Dr Nilesh Gautam, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Head of Department of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation at the Asian Heart Institute answered some of the common questions related to aspirin and heart attack.

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Can aspirin save you from a heart attack?

Aspirin is an effective and simple way to prevent a heart attack. Also, it is easily available and cost-effective. So if you are experiencing severe chest pain, take 75 mg / 100 mg of aspirin tablet and chew it (do not swallow it).

Why should you chew and not swallow aspirin during an attack?

If you swallow aspirin, it reaches the digestive tract and then enters the liver, which not only lowers the concentration but also increases the time of action. However, if you chew an aspirin, it quickly mixes with saliva and is directly absorbed into the blood, acting within 3 5 minutes.

How does aspirin help you to deal with a heart attack?

Aspirin acts as a blood thinning agent, which in turn increases the flow of blood to the heart while on your way to the hospital. So take a tablet of aspirin, and immediately reach the hospital to get proper medical attention, when you experience a heart attack.

What about people at increased risk of a heart attack?

If you are at a high risk of a heart attack, take an aspirin daily for the rest of your life. Take the medication after meals as it will increase your risk of acidity and gastric ulceration if had before meals. Also, you should take this tablet for the rest of your life.

Is aspirin good for the health, if taken daily?

Aspirin is known to cause duodenal ulcer when taken on a long-term basis, in some cases. So if you are at a high risk of duodenal ulcer, please talk to your doctor about it. Also, if you suffer from a bleeding disorder or platelet deficiency, avoid taking aspirin as it inhibits blood platelet formation.

Is there any other alternative that people with duodenal ulcer (and those at an increased risk of a heart attack) can take, other than aspirin?

In such cases, enteric-coated aspirin is recommended because this tablet dissolves in the intestine and not in the stomach (as normal aspirin) thereby lowering the risk of duodenal ulcer.

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