Site Map

Aspirin and heart disease

Blood thinners - aspirin; Antiplatelet therapy - aspirin

Images

Developmental process of atherosclerosis

I Would Like to Learn About:

Description

Current guidelines recommend that people with coronary artery disease (CAD) receive antiplatelet therapy with either aspirin or clopidogrel.

Aspirin therapy is very helpful for people with CAD or a history of stroke. If you have been diagnosed with CAD, your health care provider may recommend that you take a daily dose (from 75 to 162 mg) of aspirin. A daily dose of 81 mg is recommended for people who have had PCI (angioplasty). It is most often prescribed along with another antiplatelet medicine. Aspirin can reduce the risk for heart attack and ischemic stroke. However, using aspirin over the long-term can raise your risk for stomach bleeding.

Daily aspirin should not be used for prevention in healthy people who are at low risk for heart disease. You provider will consider your overall medical condition and risk factors for heart attack before recommending aspirin therapy.

How Aspirin Helps you

Taking aspirin helps prevent blood clots from forming in your arteries and may help lower your risk for a stroke or heart attack.

Your provider may recommend to take daily aspirin if:

Aspirin helps get more blood flowing to your legs. It can treat a heart attack and prevent blood clots when you have an abnormal heartbeat. You probably will take aspirin after you have treatment for clogged arteries.

You will most likely take aspirin as a pill. A daily low-dose aspirin (75 to 81 mg) is most often the first choice for preventing heart disease or stroke.

Talk to your provider before taking aspirin every day. Your provider may change your dose from time to time.

Side Effects

Aspirin can have side effects such as:

Before you start taking aspirin, tell your provider if you have bleeding problems or stomach ulcers. Also say if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Taking Aspirin

Take your aspirin with food and water. This can reduce side effects. You may need to stop taking this medicine before surgery or dental work. Always talk to your provider before you stop taking this medicine. If you have had a heart attack or a stent placed, be sure to ask your heart doctor if it is OK to stop taking aspirin.

You may need medicine for other health problems. Ask your provider if this is safe.

If you miss a dose of your aspirin, take it as soon as possible. If it is time for your next dose, take your usual amount. DO NOT take extra pills.

Store your medicines in a cool, dry place. Keep them away from children.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if you have side effects.

Side effects can be any signs of unusual bleeding:

Other side effects can be dizziness or difficulty swallowing.

Call your provider if you have wheezing, breathing difficulty, or tightness or pain in your chest.

Side effects include swelling in your face or hands. Call your provider if you have itching, hives, or tingling in your face or hands, very bad stomach pain, or a skin rash.

Related Information

Heart bypass surgery
Carotid artery surgery
Angioplasty and stent placement - carotid artery
Heart bypass surgery - minimally invasive
Cardiac ablation procedures
Heart pacemaker
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
Hardening of the arteries
High blood cholesterol levels
High blood pressure - adults
Angina
Coronary heart disease
Angioplasty and stent placement - peripheral arteries
Peripheral artery bypass - leg
Aortic valve surgery - minimally invasive
Aortic valve surgery - open
Mitral valve surgery - minimally invasive
Mitral valve surgery - open
Angina - discharge
Heart attack - discharge
Angioplasty and stent - heart - discharge
Being active when you have heart disease
Cardiac catheterization - discharge
Antiplatelet drugs - P2Y12 inhibitors
Controlling your high blood pressure
Heart bypass surgery - discharge
Heart bypass surgery - minimally invasive - discharge
Heart failure - fluids and diuretics
Heart failure - home monitoring
Heart failure - discharge
Stroke - discharge
ACE inhibitors
Angina - when you have chest pain
Being active after your heart attack
Butter, margarine, and cooking oils
Cholesterol and lifestyle
Dietary fats explained
Fast food tips
Heart disease - risk factors
How to read food labels
Mediterranean diet
Angina - what to ask your doctor
Heart failure - what to ask your doctor
Heart attack - what to ask your doctor
Angioplasty and stent placement - peripheral arteries - discharge
Angioplasty and stent placement - carotid artery - discharge
Atrial fibrillation - discharge
Carotid artery surgery - discharge
Peripheral artery bypass - leg - discharge
Heart valve surgery - discharge

References

Amsterdam EA, Wenger NK, Brindis RG, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(24):e139-e228. PMID: 25260718 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25260718.

Bohula EA, Morrow DA. ST-elevation myocardial infarction: management. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 59.

Fihn SD, Blankenship JC, Alexander KP, et al. 2014 ACC/AHA/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS focused update of the guideline for the diagnosis and management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease. Circulation. 2014;130(19):1749-1767. PMID: 25070666 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070666.

Giugliano RP, Braunwald E. Non-ST elevation acute coronary syndromes. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 60.

Mauri L, Bhatt DL. Percutaneous coronary intervention. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 62.

Morrow DA, de Lemos JA. Stable ischemic heart disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 61.

O'Gara PT, Kushner FG, Ascheim DD, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of ST-elevation myocardial infarction: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. Circulation. 2013;127(4):529-555. PMID: 23247303 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23247303.

Ridker PM, Libby P, Buring JE. Risk markers and primary prevention of coronary heart disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2019:chap 45.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 7/25/2018  

Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2019 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.