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Inside the Aspirin Bottle

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 5:03 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Aspirin Most of us rely on aspirin to relieve aches and pains, and lessen fevers. We pop one occasionally, whenever the need arises and a bottle is handy. But others take one daily, swallowing the tiny pill in an attempt to ward off heart disease. Theoretically, the medication slows clotting, reducing the risk of a heart attack or clot-related stroke. However beyond the theory, lies reality. And there, the results are not always as positive.

Regularly ingesting aspirin can lead to a multitude of undesirable side effects. Long-term use has been proven to cause stomach bleeding, bleeding in the brain, kidney failure and non clot-related strokes.  For patients with certain medical conditions, who are pregnant or who have high blood pressure, asthma, bleeding disorders, ulcers and liver/kidney disease, the therapy can be fatal. Aspirin can also mix with other medications (particularly blood thinners), herbs, supplements and vitamins, creating a toxic composition in your body. How do you know, then, if you should begin an aspirin regimen?

The first way to determine your eligibility for aspirin therapy is to recognize who it helps.  Healthy people do not need to take aspirin every day. If they do, they heighten rather than lessen their risk of health complications. The therapy is advised only for those who have a heart or blood vessel disease, or who have poor blood-flow to the brain. But even there, there are stipulations. Aspirin, for example, reap fewer benefits than men. If you were to examine the various studies on aspirin therapy, as recent researchers have, you would notice a wide range of effectiveness. The predominantly male trials see the greatest improvements, while the primarily female ones see the least.  Therefore, only men who are at an increased risk of heart attack or stroke should consider daily aspirin ingestion, but once again, there are cautions.

As with any medication, dose matters. If you take too much, you risk overdose. And if you take an improper variant, you risk your health. Your doctor is the only individual capable of directing you through safe and proper aspirin therapy. Talk to him about the reasons why you should or should not start, potential side effects and the overall efficacy of the treatment.

While popping the top off of the aspirin bottle may stave off heart attacks, it can also invite other complications. Err on the side of caution before you reach into the bottle.

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