An Aspirin a day keeps heart attacks at bay! Is it really so? The FDA however does not think so. The FDA in its consumer update has said that there is scant evidence that low dose aspirin helped to prevent a heart attack or a stroke for persons who never had any cardiovascular event.

After a careful study of scientific data, FDA has opined that Low Dose Aspirin is beneficial only or those persons who had an earlier episode heart attack or stroke. Further the agency said that there is little evidence that persons, who never had any episode of cardiovascular event, benefitted from taking low dose Aspirin daily. The review also highlighted the risks associated with taking Aspirin in a low dose daily which included increase risks of bleeding in the stomach and the brain. However in persons who have survived a cardiovascular event, the benefits far outweigh the side effects of taking daily low dose aspirin.

The FDA has said that persons should take no more than 80 mg of aspirin daily after consultation with a physician who will assess the risk versus benefit ratio before recommending.

The FDA said “We encourage patients to talk to their healthcare provider about the best treatment for their individual situation. The kinds of evidence FDA uses to make regulatory decisions, which have broad public health implications, may be different from those used by a physician treating a specific patient.”

The FDA has rejected a decade old petition by Bayer Healthcare to make Aspirin as a primary prevention indication which means it will reduce the risk of the first Heart Attack. The statement comes after the rejection of the petition.

There may be a benefit of low dose aspirin for people at high risk, but for those at low risk, probably not.

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