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Talk with Your Doctor about Taking Aspirin Every Day

    glass of water with one aspirin

    Content last updated on:
    February 13, 2013

    The Basics

    Taking aspirin every day can lower your risk of heart attack or stroke. Ask your doctor about taking aspirin if you:

    • Are a man age 45 to 79
    • Are a woman age 55 to 79
    • Smoke
    • Have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes
    • Have a family history of heart disease
    • Have already had a heart attack or stroke

    For most people, aspirin is safe. But it’s not right for everyone. Talk with your doctor before you start taking aspirin every day.

    The Basics

    What are the benefits of taking aspirin daily?
    Aspirin can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. It can:

    • Improve the flow of blood to the heart and brain
    • Help keep your arteries open if you’ve had a stroke or angioplasty (surgery to open up your arteries)

    If you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke, daily aspirin can lower your risk of having another one.

    Are there any side effects?
    Taking aspirin daily isn’t for everyone. For some people, it may be dangerous. Talk to your doctor before you start taking aspirin every day.

    Learn more about the benefits and risks of taking aspirin every day.

    Take Action!

    Take Action!

    Find out if daily aspirin is right for you.

    Talk with your doctor.
    Your doctor can help you decide if daily aspirin is the right choice for you. Talk with your doctor about:

    • Your risk of heart attack or stroke
    • What kind of aspirin to take
    • How much to take
    • How often to take it

    Be sure to tell your doctor about all the other medicines you take, including vitamins and medicines you get without a prescription. Aspirin can cause serious side effects and mix dangerously with other medicines.

    What about cost?
    For some men and women, aspirin use is covered under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010. Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.

    For information about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit HealthCare.gov.

    Take Action!

    Know your family’s health history.
    Your family’s health history can give your doctor important information about your risk for heart attack or stroke. Use this family health history tool to keep track of your family’s health. Take this information to your next appointment.

    Use aspirin safely.
    If you and your doctor decide that aspirin is right for you, follow these safety tips:

    • Make sure you understand how much aspirin to take and how often to take it.
    • Don’t stop taking aspirin without checking with your doctor.
    • Check with your doctor before you start taking a new medicine or vitamin. Ask if it will be safe with aspirin.
    • If you drink, drink alcohol only in moderation. This means no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men. Alcohol can increase some risks of taking daily aspirin.

    Get more tips about using medicines safely.

    Take Action!

    Make it easy to remember.
    Here are a few things you can do to make it easier to take aspirin every day:

    • Take aspirin at the same time every day. For example, take it when you brush your teeth or eat your breakfast.
    • Put a reminder note on your bathroom mirror where you will see it each day.
    • Use a pill sorter to separate out your medicines for each day of the week.

    Take Action!

    Help your heart.
    Taking aspirin is just one part of a heart-healthy plan.

    Get more tips on keeping your heart healthy and reducing your risk of stroke.

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