10/2/2014

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Consumer

Risks and benefits of daily low-dose aspirin

The news is filled with stories about the benefits of taking low-dose aspirin.

Some studies suggest it might reduce the risk of polyps in the colon. Others show it can lower a woman's chances of developing melanoma.

And we’ve all heard about the studies suggesting people with coronary artery disease who take aspirin have a lower risk of having a heart attack.

So it's easy to understand why some people decide to start taking a daily dose of aspirin without talking to their doctor.

"And that's what gets a little scary, because aspirin also has side effects, some of the can be serious," said Dr. John Swartzberg at the U.C. Berkeley Wellness Letter.

He says aspirin thins the blood, which can lead to bruising. It can also increase your risk of having a stroke.

"And it can cause irritation to the gastrointestinal tract, in particular the stomach and that irritation can sometimes lead to ulcers and to serious and occasionally life-threatening bleeding," Swartzberg said.

Remember, aspirin is a drug and you should not take it -- even a low dose -- on a regular basis without talking to your doctor.

More Info:
Daily aspirin therapy: Understand the benefits and risks

Is low-dose aspirin safe for you?
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