FDA: Do not take daily aspirin if you haven't had a heart attack

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said if people have never had a heart attack, put down the aspirin bottle.

The FDA came out against taking aspirin for primary prevention for heart attacks and strokes if a person has no symptoms, no family history and low risk factors.

The FDA said if low-risk people like this take a daily aspirin, risks, such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach, could occur.

Cardiologist Dr. Anthony White said if a person had a heart attack or stroke, or had a stent put in, they absolutely need to take a daily aspirin.

"You should not stop it based on this FDA report," White said. "They're not talking about these people. They're talking about people who have never had a problem and should they take it."

Dr. White said people should consider a daily aspirin if they are male, have high cholesterol or a strong family history of heart attacks or strokes.

But people should not take a daily aspirin if they are pregnant or have a risk of bleeding, ulcers or brain aneurysms.

"The gray area would be someone who has no symptoms and no history, but they have lots of risk factors," White said. "They have extremely high cholesterol, heart attacks that occur early in their family."

Dr. White said that's why it's so important to see your doctor for regular check-ups.

"Aspirin may help prevent a few heart attacks, but it's not the cure-all," White said. "It doesn't prevent all heart attacks."

Dr. White said to also check with your doctor before taking aspirin with other medications.

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