Remember that tablet which you used to take for instant relief from pain and headache? Aspirin the wonder drug is popular, easily available, and affordable. Due to its wide solutions such as relief in pain, fever, and inflammation, aspirin is the everyday medicine for a large part of the population. But there are several research and case studies revolving around the wonders and side effects of this famous yet controversial drug. At first, we should be aware of the basic knowledge about Aspirin.
Aspirin and its benefits
The chemical formula for Aspirin is C9H8O4. It is acetylsalicylic acid and belongs to the group of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In simple words, it is used as a cure for pain and inflammation in mild to moderate cases.
Apart from the treatment of fever and headache, aspirin can also be used to treat or prevent heart attack, stroke, and pain in the chest as it is an anti-coagulant and therefore reduces the blood clotting action internally in the blood vessels. This is the reason why it is prescribed to heart patients as a daily medicine to prevent another heart stroke in the near future.
A study of aspirin and cancer risk published in JAMA Network Open concluded that aspirin reduces the death rate due to cancer, especially colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. Thus, the wonder of aspirin is applicable in the treatment of cancer as well. But, as every coin has two sides, aspirin also has its downside despite so many wonders.
Downside of Aspirin
Every medicine has its side effects and similar is the case with Aspirin too. As it is an anticoagulant/ blood thinner, it may lead to irritation in the stomach causing internal bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract and ulcers in the stomach which may not come to notice at an early stage but later, can become serious resulting in the episodes of blood vomiting. As the tissues become thin and tender with age, older people are more prone to incidents of internal bleeding due to aspirin’s unadvised dosage. Also, due to its anti-clotting ability, it may slow down the process of recovering from a serious injury.
Aspirin- The wonder drug but not for everyone
Considering the benefits and side-effects of aspirin, the question arises who should take aspirin? Or why aspirin is not recommended for more people?
Aspirin is recommended for those people who are suffering from a high risk of cardiovascular problems. It is recommended as a routine medicine every day for those who had a history of a heart attack prior, to prevent the occurrence of another heart attack or stroke. Recommendation of aspirin dosage may vary and depends upon the health and age factor of every individual. Some studies and experts suggest a low dose of aspirin for people over the age of 50 years as it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems and heart attack by an estimate of another 10 years.
Apart from heart problems, a low dose of aspirin is also recommended to lower the risk of cancer in people having certain genetic conditions including hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.
The recommendation of aspirin should take place under the supervision of the doctor or medical practitioner considering the previous medical history of an individual to avoid any serious side effects.
There is no specific evidence that the benefits of aspirin can exceed its side effects and vice versa. Aspirin is referred to as a wonder drug because it helps to cure some serious health issues such as cardiovascular problems, heart attack, and cancer. It is a preventive medicine that can save both time and money in costly treatment. Making sure that the side effects of aspirin shouldn’t surpass its benefits, it is advisable to consult a doctor for a suitable dose of this wonder pill.
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