The Heart and The Aspirin

Historical data on aspirin

Aspirin , used since 1875 , is the substance sodium salicylate derived from Salix alba plant , used as antipyretic since antiquity . Tea Elderberry ( Sambucus nigra ) , in Brazil , is used as antipyretic and analgesic . Aspirin obtained from natural sources is more expensive than that produced industrially .

Since its discovery and industrial production of aspirin , it has always been used as an analgesic and antipyretic . She also has other therapeutic properties , such as anti-inflammatory , uricosuric and stimulating. It is assumed that aspirin is the most widely used stimulant in the world. Many people take aspirin as a prophylactic , "not to have a headache ." We can recognize people addicted to aspirin have a particular way of speaking .

In 1920, Beyer lab in Germany that launched the industrial aspirin on the market, added to their product the slogan " " Aspirin not bad for the heart . " If she said at the time to be harmful to the heart . Ironically history, years have shown the opposite.

Per day are consumed only in the United States , 80 million aspirin tablets . The production of aspirin in Brazil covers 80 % of its consumption , the rest is imported . For many years aspirin was associated with caffeine offered in the market to decrease depressive effects to her heart . Even today there are many products on the market which aspirin is offered along with other medicines to decrease their undesirable effects on the digestive system . These products are usually much more expensive and do not offer benefits for most patients . Aspirin since its discovery is fraught with differing opinions as to its use , indications , risks and benefits . There could be different when it comes to his latest statement, which is to prevent cardiovascular disease : angina, heart attack, stroke , etc. .

Arguments in favor of the use of aspirin

1 . Aspirin helps prevent heart attacks and ischemic strokes .
2 . Aspirin is an effective and inexpensive drug .
3 . Aspirin interferes with the production of platelets and thereby changes the propensity for formation of thrombi ( clots) reducing the risk of cardiovascular events .
4 . Per year die in the United States about 900,000 people due to brain or heart stroke . An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 of these deaths could be prevented with the use of aspirin .

Arguments against the use of aspirin

1 . Hemorrhagic Strokes are more common when the patient is receiving aspirin.
2 . Evidence suggests that aspirin does not prevent cardiac or cerebral vascular accidents in patients who are not suffering from vascular diseases. Some studies suggest that this is not true .
3 . No product is risk-free . Aspirin can cause serious health problems .
4 . Through amendment in the formation of platelet aspirin hinders the formation of clots . This may cause bleeding , from mild to severe . By this mechanism the formation of a vascular thrombus can be avoided but instead bleeding that can cause a more severe stroke occur.

The most frequent side effects of aspirin

1 . Irritation of the stomach and intestines , causing heartburn, epigátrica pain, nausea , vomiting , internal bleeding , severe ulcers and perforations . Use of alcoholic beverages enhances these effects , further including liver damage.
2 . Tinnitus ( Ringing in the ears ) and hearing loss , especially at higher doses. These effects tend to decrease with the decrease of the doses of medication.
3 Allergies - . Cutaneous and respiratory . Can cause asthma in 0.2 % of people . In some patients, causes pulmonary bleeding.
. 4 Reye's Syndrome - caused in children and, although rare , can be fatal . Particularly in chickenpox aspirin can cause Reye's syndrome .

What is the real risk of taking aspirin?

The basic study regarding the prophylactic use of aspirin was performed on 22,071 physicians between 40 and 84 years. Half received 325 mg of aspirin daily and the other half received a placebo . After 5 years there have been 23 hemorrhagic brain injuries among doctors who took aspirin and 12 among those who received placebo . Subsequent studies have confirmed these findings . The number of physicians involved the incidence was small but significant for having been twice . This study should be extended for another year , but at the end of the first 5, the incidence of heart stroke as was significantly lower among those who received aspirin , so it was considered unethical to keep the placebo group away from the benefits of aspirin .
Other studies accumulating experience in 55,462 patients who received aspirin or not , all were followed for 37 months and the dose of aspirin ranged from 75 to 413 mg per day . In 10,000 people who received aspirin 137 was 39 strokes and ischemic strokes less. However 12 more cerebral hemorrhages in the group receiving aspirin occurred . If we consider another index , the survival rate was 15 % fewer deaths among those receiving aspirin. There were also 12 % less ischemic or embolic strokes in this group .
If we weigh the pros and cons regarding the use of aspirin she leans in favor of its use . However the chances of benefit varies from person to person , and that you and your doctor should decide.

Factors influencing the decision to take or not take aspirin

1 . Persons young or middle age and without evidence of cardiovascular disease are unlikely to benefit from aspirin use and will only be exposed to the risks of its use .
2 . Risk of stroke , for example a 40 year old man with hypertension , but without other manifestations of cardiovascular disease there is a chance of 0 , l % per year from heart or brain problems occur . For that person , take aspirin represents a greater risk to occur something than what is to be avoided .


1 . Exists no miracle drug.
2 . Aspirin is one that is closer to that goal .
3 . Aspirin 's benefits are obvious and the cost is minimal .
4 . The rate of severe complications is low , but there are fatalities , and between digestive bleeding and perforation of peptic ulcers .
5 . Be sure to listen to your doctor if you are or are not a person to take aspirin .