Aspirin Therapy (cont.)
Make sure that all your health professionals are aware that you are using aspirin to reduce your risk of heart attack and clot-related strokes.
FACT: Once your doctor decides that daily use of aspirin is for you, safe use depends on following your doctor's directions.
There are no directions on the label for using aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack or clot-related stroke. You may rely on your health professional to provide the correct information on dose and directions for use. Using aspirin correctly gives you the best chance of getting the greatest benefits with the fewest unwanted side effects. Discuss with your health professional the different forms of aspirin products that might be best suited for you.
Aspirin has been shown to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, but not all over-the-counter pain and fever reducers do that. Even though the directions on the aspirin label do not apply to this use of aspirin, you still need to read the label to confirm that the product you buy and use contains aspirin at the correct dose. Check the Drug Facts label for "active ingredients: aspirin" or "acetylsalicylic acid" at the dose that your health professional has prescribed.
Remember, if you are using aspirin everyday for weeks, months or years to prevent a heart attack, stroke, or for any use not listed on the label — without the guidance from your health professional — you could be doing your body more harm than good.
Source: Federal Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
Last Editorial Review: 4/5/2007