Aspirin for Heart Attack and Unstable Angina
Why It Is Used
For people who are having a heart attack. You can take aspirin to help you during a heart attack. After you call 911 or other emergency services, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Or you might be given aspirin in the ambulance or emergency room. Aspirin slows blood clotting. So a blood clot that is causing the heart attack stays smaller.
For people who have had a heart attack. Aspirin can help prevent a second heart attack.
For people who have never had a heart attack. Aspirin may reduce your chance of having a heart attack or a stroke if you have certain risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoking. If you have a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke, aspirin will have even more benefit for you.
Low-dose aspirin may also be used by people who have:
- Reference Coronary artery disease Opens New Window.
- Reference Stable angina Opens New Window.
- Reference Unstable angina Opens New Window.
- Had Reference bypass surgery Opens New Window or Reference angioplasty Opens New Window.
- Had a Reference stroke Opens New Window or Reference transient ischemic attack Opens New Window (TIA).
But in people with a relatively low risk of developing cardiovascular disease, the benefits of preventive aspirin therapy may be outweighed by the increased risk of bleeding problems.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology