• December 2022 Top Health News from Alliant Insurance Services

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    December 01, 2022

    Aspirin 101

    Aspirin was invented more than a century ago.
    While this famous drug derived from willow bark has been replaced by acetaminophen and other medications as the preferred treatment for pain and inflammation, it remains the most widely used drug globally. 

    Because aspirin thins blood, a low-dose (81 milligrams) can help prevent strokes and heart attacks by stopping blood clots from forming in blood vessels damaged and narrowed by plaque.

    Low-dose aspirin, as directed by your health care provider, may be taken for preventing cardiovascular  disease, but only if you have a history of heart attack, atrial fibrillation, stroke or vascular stenting. Low-dose aspirin isn’t recommended for those with no history of heart disease or stroke.

    Because of certain risks, aspirin isn’t for everyone. Regular use can raise the risk for a hemorrhagic stroke (caused by bleeding in the brain). Also, if you have a history of gastritis or stomach ulcers, which can cause internal bleeding, don’t take aspirin without your provider’s approval. Aspirin can also interact with many other medications. Always get your provider’s okay before taking aspirin.

    However, middle-aged adults, with their provider’s approval, may benefit from regular low-dose aspirin if they are at high risk for a first heart attack or stroke due to risk factors, such as smoking, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high LDL (bad) cholesterol or a strong family history of heart disease.

    Bottom line: Follow your provider’s advice about whether you should take low-dose aspirin for your heart, use it to relieve aches and pain or avoid it altogether. Read labels and never take more aspirin than is recommended. If you use aspirin, report unusual bruising or bleeding immediately to your provider.
    Katja Isham, Account Associate
    katja.isham@alliant.com, (949) 681-9052
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