Baby Aspirin Increases Ulcer Risk 4 times

I have many patients that are recommended by thier primary care physicians to take a baby aspirin per day.  That’s the 81mg version that has become so popular over the last 5-10 years. They give it out like candy and like it has some kind of actual health benefit.  It purportedly provides some measure of protection should a person have a heart attack or specific kind of stroke.

Aspirin is in the NSAID class of drugs and it is available over the counter.  You must remember, however, that it is a drug and can have nasty side effects even when taken correctly.  This “baby” aspirin can in fact increase your bleeding risk by 4 times over someone not taking it at all.  It is marketed as “baby” aspirin as if to suggest it is so safe that even a baby could take it at that dose, but sadly this is not true.  Below is a list of high risk markers that will increase your chance of developing complication:

  • being older than 60,
  • having a history of gastric or duodenal ulcer,
  • having active Helicobacter pylori infection (the bacterium linked to ulcers),
  • taking aspirin at the same time as you take full strength Nsaids (such as ibuprofen, Motrin and naproxen), anticoagulants (such as warfarin) or antiplatelet agents (such as clopidogrel or ticlopidine); or taking aspirin if you are a chronic steroid user.

The reason this NSAID class of drugs is effective for reducing complications from heart disease is because they are anti-inflammatory.  That is, they reduce inflammation in the body.  There are many ways to reduce inflammation without resorting to dangerous drugs.  I have provided a safer list below:

The list could go on and on, but the above has shown to reduce inflammation in people and this reduces cardiovascular risk.   If you’re taking a “baby” aspirin talk to a qualified health professional about safer alternatives.  There are many more than I have listed and they are just as effective.

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3 Comments

Filed under Big Pharma, Public Health

3 responses to “Baby Aspirin Increases Ulcer Risk 4 times

  1. Pingback: Before you take that Ibuprofen, read this! | The Vreeland Clinic's Blog

  2. Iam asking if i can take baby asprin while i have a bleeding ulccer. Because my heart doctor just told me to take one everyday, but i forgot to tell him i have a bleeding ulcer.. And i cant get ahold of him right now. Thank you!

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