The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that the general statement that “taking an aspirin a day” may help to prevent heart attacks may not be true for everyone, and it can even cause some dangerous side effects, according to its website. On Monday, the FDA announced that it would not be granting Bayer Corp. its requested approval of listing aspirin as one of the drugs known to combat heart attacks and strokes, according to NBC News. The FDA says that aspirin is only recommended for those who are particularly susceptible to heart attacks and strokes, and even then it should not be taken daily without doctor approval and supervision, NBC reported. In fact, the FDA says that the drug is most recommended only for “secondary prevention,” which its website defines as prevention of reoccurring heart attacks or strokes after a person has already suffered one or the other.
While studies have shown that taking doses from “baby aspirin” all the way to a full strength 325 milligram full tablet can indeed have a deterrent effect for heart attacks and strokes, no one should be taking it daily without consultation with their doctor simply because they may have heard that it is a good idea, according to NBC. Aspirin is a blood thinner, which is why it is considered as beneficial to some who are at serious risk; however, blood thinners also come with negative side effects, such as possibly bleeding in the stomach or brain, according to the FDA website. Both the FDA and Bayer Corp. divulged that there are a number of large-scale clinical studies being performed on the benefits and harms of daily aspirin use, and both claimed the results of which should be available in the next few years, according to NBC. In the meantime, the FDA recommends that those who are especially at risk of heart attack or stroke should consider contacting their doctor pertaining to possible daily aspirin use, but warn that people should not decide to take aspirin daily, especially in large doses, just because they may have heard of the potential benefits.