Aspirin is an over-the-counter product that’s been used for generations, not only to reduce pain and fever, but for other benefits as well. Does aspirin cause blood clots? No. That doesn’t mean that using it is without risks for some.
One of the benefits of low-dose aspirin (around 75 mg to 80 mg) daily has the potential to reduce risk of heart attack in those diagnosed with certain heart conditions. Daily aspirin therapy is nothing new but should always be recommended and monitored by a physician, as not all cardiac care cases are the same.
The components in aspirin interfere with the body’s automatic blood-clotting mechanisms. This can be beneficial to some, detrimental to others. The concept with cardiac care patients is that aspirin restricts the body’s ability to clot blood, thereby acting much like a blood thinner and reducing risk of a clot that reaches the heart.
Aspirin acts as a blood thinner by reducing the ability of blood platelets – a component of blood that contain anti-clotting factors – to clump together. This clumping mechanism is the early process of forming a blood clot.
Aspirin therapy risks need to be considered
Not everyone should take an aspirin a day (even if it’s low-dose) to prevent possible blood clots from forming. The body is supposed to trigger blood clotting factors to stop bleeding from an injured blood vessel. Only those who have had a heart attack, stroke, a stent placed, or someone at high risk for heart attack or stroke should consider it and then only when it’s recommended by your physician. The same goes for people diagnosed with additional co-morbidities such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Those considering daily aspirin therapy should know that risks of bleeding increases with aspirin use, especially among those taking the daily aspirin who don’t have cardiovascular issues.
Aspirin therapy does not guarantee that blood clots won’t form in the body or prevent a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) from forming in the leg. According to the American Heart Association, potential users are cautioned that taking aspirin daily as a blood thinner can contribute to other risks for some users, such as:
- Those who have developed an allergy or intolerance to it
- Those who are habitual alcohol drinkers
- Those who are at risk of a hemorrhagic stroke
- Those who are at a risk for gastrointestinal bleeding
While aspirin doesn’t cause blood clots, it’s always best to consult with your doctor before starting on any aspirin therapy as a preventative for blood clot development.