Aspirin – A More Powerful Weapon against Stroke than Previously Thought

Aspirin.  The wonder drug that keeps working more wonders.

Don't use aspirin as primary prevention for heart disease and stroke, FDA warns

From headache to heart attack, aspirin is the go-to drug to treat and prevent so many medical conditions.  And, its often lifesaving benefits continue to be better understood day after day.

At least those are the results of a recent retrospective study published in the Lancet which you can read  here.  Researchers examined the individual patient data from all randomized, controlled trials of aspirin administered after ischemic stroke and TIA (transient ischemic attack).  They found that aspirin was far more effective at preventing recurrent stroke and reducing its severity than previously thought.  However, they also found that aspirin was less effective in doing so over the long haul.  Here are the primary findings.

  • aspirin has a far more significant impact on the incidence of early, recurrent stroke prevention in patients with mild and moderate damage
  • aspirin significantly reduces the severity of early recurrent stroke in patients with mild and moderate damage
  • aspirin provides limited benefits for stroke prevention after the first six weeks, regardless of severity

The findings were consistent those from an earlier, non-randomized study which found that administration of aspirin following TIA and ischemic stroke can reduce the chance of early recurrence by 80%.

Consistent with these findings, the researchers recommend that:

  • aspirin should be a front line defense and administered by health care providers immediately following ischemic stroke or TIA
  • patients should self-administer aspirin when they begin to experience acute stroke-like symptoms
  • patients should not self-administer aspirin if they experience chronic stroke-like symptoms which could indicate a hemorrhagic stroke

So, make sure you have some of those little white pills on hand.  They could make a big difference in your future.





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