To take or not to take is the question of the previous advice to take an aspirin daily. The updates about this perplexing therapy are worth knowing about since there are benefits and risks. The bottom line advised is to speak to your health professional before you begin.

Main Consideration to Take Aspirin Daily
First of all, if you consider it as a daily therapy, you should have experienced a heart attack or stroke, or have a high chance of having either. The main risk of taking an aspirin daily for both sexes is internal bleeding. This is where it gets tricky. What if you have a high chance of getting stroke or heart attack, but haven't yet, will you benefit from taking a daily aspirin? Your health professional can help you decide, but you can also be informed of the health conditions you may have that could increase bleeding or other health complications. They are:

  • stomach ulcers
  • asthma
  • clotting or bleeding disorder
  • if you take warfarin (Coumadin) or other anticoagulants.

There is also the possibility of a rebound effect from stopping daily aspirin intake. That means that if you stopped taking it, it could increase your heart attack or stroke chances.

Aspirin is Not so Harmless
I once read that if aspirin had been available in the 1800's it would have been considered an extremely strong drug. Aspirin has come a long way in its common over the counter usage. This may be why it is being looked at it in a more careful way by medical researchers nowadays. To know the high chance factors for heart disease and stroke help to make the correct choice whether to take the daily aspirin. Smoking tobacco is a common no-no for those at risk. Being overweight and lacking exercise is a big contributor. Diabetes is another factor to check out. Family history of stroke or heart attack is probably explored more as a possible reason to consider daily therapy.

There are some side effects to the awesome aspirin that you should be aware of. Tinnitus and hearing loss are possible side effects from overdosing, and I'm not sure if that means daily intake, or just try it and find out. A hemorrhagic stroke is a bleeding stroke that can be caused from daily aspirin intake. Funny, it can help prevent a clot-related stroke yet cause the other. Also, gastrointestinal bleeding is a very common side effect that could become life threatening.

Age and Quantity Guidelines
Now, the the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel convened by the Department of Health and Human Services, has published guidelines it says should end the confusion.
The key points:

  • Men should start a daily aspirin at age 45, mainly to protect against heart attacks.
  • Women should start at 55, mainly to protect against stroke.
  • For both sexes, a baby aspirin -- typically 81 milligrams a day -- will do the job. There is no evidence that a larger dose makes a difference.
  • And both sexes should stop by age 80, unless their doctors say otherwise. As you get older, there's a greater risk of bleeding in the brain or the digestive system -- a risk that is small but can be fatal in some cases.

This is at the least, a beginning to answer the question to take or not to take a daily aspirin.