Aspirin: Questions and Answers

Q. What are the different uses for aspirin?

  • Strokes: Aspirin use recommended in both men and women to treat mini-strokes (transient ischemic attack [TIA]) or ischemic stroke to prevent subsequent cardiovascular events or death.
  • Heart Attacks:
    • Aspirin:
      • reduces the risk of death in patients with suspected acute heart attacks (myocardial infarctions)
      • prevents recurrent heart attacks and
      • reduces the risk of heart attacks or sudden death in patients with unstable and chronic stable angina pectoris (chest pain).
  • Other coronary conditions: Aspirin can be used to treat patients who have had certain revascularization procedures such as angioplasty, and coronary bypass operations -- if they have a vascular condition for which aspirin is already indicated.

  • Rheumatologic diseases: Aspirin is indicated for relief of the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondyloarthropathies, and arthritis and pleurisy associated with systemic lupus erythematosus.

  • Pain relief: Aspirin is indicated for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains.

Q. What does this mean for doctors and medical practice?

A. Doctors and health care professionals will be provided with full prescribing information about the use of aspirin in both men and women who have had a heart attack, stroke, certain other cardiovascular conditions and rheumatologic diseases. For stroke and cardiovascular conditions, lower doses are recommended than those previously prescribed by physicians in practice. Information on the use of aspirin for rheumatologic diseases has also been expanded to include specific dosing information as well as information about side effects and toxicity. Thus, doctors will have full prescribing information on aspirin and the assurance that aspirin is a safe and effective treatment for heart attacks, strokes, certain other vascular conditions and rheumatologic diseases.

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