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Aspirin: Not as harmless as it seems


Posted on Oct 26, 2013

Many people take aspirin on a daily basis for various reasons. But is it really so innocuous? New reports show there are serious side effects that should be considered before taking aspirin on a frequent basis.

Aspirin has many side effects such as stomach bleeding and bleeding in the brain. BBC reports that aspirin can be risky when taken too frequently. Some people take aspirin daily for preventative measures such as staving off hearts attacks. Even more surprising is that some people take it daily to prevent cancer.

But reports show that aspirin actually has many side effects and might not be helpful at all in preventing some diseases. “Healthy people should not take aspirin to ward off heart attacks and cancer, according to the most comprehensive review of the risks and benefits,” according to BBC. While aspirin might be helpful in preventing heart attacks, the same ways in which it helps are the same ways by which it could hurt the body.

“Aspirin makes the blood less sticky so it reduces the odds of a blood clot forming inside the body, which could cause a heart attack or stroke. However, as the drug makes it harder for the blood to clot it can cause problems inside the body. The drug is given to people at high risk of a heart attack or stroke, as the medical benefit is clear. However, there have been calls to give aspirin to otherwise healthy people as well,” according to BBC. Researchers focused on the overall impact of taking the medicine in the study.

BBC reports, “For heart attacks and strokes, they concluded giving everyone aspirin would cause net harm due to increased potential for bleeding. This was in part due to better management of at-risk patients including prescribing drugs to lower blood pressure.” The study’s lead author stated, "We need to be extremely careful about over-promoting aspirin."

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