By: Steven Nissen, MD
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Aspirin. It’s one of the oldest drugs in medicine. As it continues to be valuable, we also keep learning new things about aspirin. Recently, a lot of evidence suggests that if you don’t have heart disease, you probably should not take aspirin. If you do have heart disease, you probably should take aspirin.
What’s murkier is deciding whether to take aspirin if you are a patient who takes blood thinners because of atrial fibrillation — arrhythmia of the upper chambers of the heart.
For people on blood thinners, it may be better to avoid aspirin. For them, the decision to take aspirin or not needs careful consideration. It is critical that these patients talk to their doctor. For some people, combining blood thinners with aspirin could result in hemorrhage.