Aspirin is widely taken for the treatment of headache, acute pain, arthritis, fever, and aches and pains associated with cold and flu. But there is another very important use of this drug: it can be used as antiplatelet to reduce the process that causes “clumping” in already damaged blood vessels. Aspirin (at least 75 mg/day), or another platelet modifying drug, therefore should be administered to virtually all patients with coronary or other atherosclerotic disease. Side effects from aspirin use are principally allergy, gastrointestinal bleeding, and peptic ulceration and are lowest in those using 75 mg/day. For these patients as well as in stroke it would be prudent to continue aspirin therapy for life.



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