8 Tips for Taking Daily Aspirin

James L. Weiss, M.D. | June 1, 2016 July 15, 2016

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What to do

If you plan to start a low-dose (81 mg) daily aspirin regimen to help prevent a heart attack, stroke, and colorectal cancer—or if you’re already on one—keep these eight safety tips in mind.

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1. Check your prescriptions

Aspirin can interact with prescription medicines and increase bleeding risk. In particular, anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin), apixaban (Eliquis), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), and dabigatran (Pradaxa), can increase your risk for major bleeding complications.

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2. Think twice about taking supplements

Popular herbal supplements like ginkgo, kava, bilberry, and evening primrose oil can increase bleeding risk. Fish oil and capsaicin pose similar risks.

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3. Read drug labels

Some drugs combine aspirin with other pain relievers or ingredients. These products shouldn’t be used for long-term aspirin therapy.

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4. Limit your alcohol

Alcohol can increase the risk of bleeding and irritate your stomach.

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5. Consider taking aspirin at bedtime

Some research suggests that taking aspirin at night may be most beneficial because cardiovascular events are common in the morning.

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6. Let your dentist or doctor know

If you’re scheduled for a dental or surgical procedure, make sure you tell your provider about your daily aspirin use.

Aspirin can cause excessive bleeding.

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7. Take aspirin with water and food

That will help prevent an upset stomach.

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8. Don’t stop without asking your doctor

Abruptly stopping aspirin therapy could trigger a rebound effect, resulting in a risk of heart attack or blood clots.