Aspirin not the ideal drug for prevention of common heart condition

Published Date : Jun 19, 2014

A new guideline stated by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence proposes to the doctors to use newer medications other than aspirin for treatment of common heart problem.

Blood thinning drugs such as warfarin are better for patients with atrial fibrillation as they tend to increase a patient’s risk of stroke, according to the NHS. Many doctors are already doing this. This advice will influence hundreds of thousands of patients.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) results in an irregular heartbeat which is a common heart rhythm condition that affects up to 800,000 people approximately one in 100 in U.K. In this condition the heart doesn’t work as well it should be and blood clots are formed sometimes which increases the risk of a stroke.

The drug aspirin has been used for many years to prevent patients from strokes. However, the new evidence indicates that the drug’s benefits are too small to compare with other type of treatments. The guidelines have acknowledged these studies and are currently being updated. They were last updated in the year 2006.

Advice from NHS to switch from aspirin to a drug which helps in blood-thinning such as warfarin will help in prevention of thousands of strokes. Many experts claim that if the use of aspirin is to be stopped, then it should be done gradually under the prescription of a doctor.

However, according to the medical director at the British Heart Foundation, it does not mean that aspirin is not effective in preventing strokes or heart attacks in other cases. Patients who are still unclear about the discontinuation of aspirin should consult their doctor.