The FDA has now reversed it’s position on taking an aspirin daily. If you haven’t had a heart attack or if you are one of the 40 million Americans who take an aspirin every day, you may want to heed the latest warning from the US Food and Drug Administration.

After several decades of promoting aspirin, the FDA now says that if you have not experienced a heart problem, you should not be taking a daily aspirin, even if you have a family history of heart disease. This represents a significant departure from FDA’s prior position on aspirin for the prevention of heart attacks.

The FDA now states:

“FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’ In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks — such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach — are still present.”

The FDA’s statement follows its decision last week to turn down a request by German drugmaker Bayer AG to change the labeling on packages in order to market aspirin’s value in preventing heart attacks in people who have never had cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Robert Temple, the agency’s deputy director for clinical science, said in an FDA “consumer update” that people should use daily aspirin therapy only after talking to a healthcare professional who can assess the benefits and risks.

Such aspirin therapy reduces the clumping action of the blood’s clotting cells, called platelets, and may prevent a heart attack, according to experts. But experts also warn that there may be serious side effects from daily use of aspirin, including internal bleeding.

“Since the 1990s, clinical data have shown that in people who have experienced a heart attack, stroke or who have a disease of the blood vessels in the heart, a daily low dose of aspirin can help prevent a re-occurrence,” Temple said in a statement on the FDA website.

But the agency added that “after carefully examining scientific data from major studies, FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’”

The FDA said that in these people “the benefit has not been established but risks – such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach – are still present.”

Source: Dr. Mercola

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