|Generic Name||Brand Name|
|Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)||Aspirin, Bufferin|
ASA can prevent blood clots from forming in your arteries. This can prevent a heart attack or stroke.
Brand-name ASA is no more effective than generic or store brands.
ASA may reduce your chance of having a heart attack or a stroke if you have certain risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoking. If you have a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke, ASA will have even more benefit for you.
You can take ASA to help you during a heart attack. After you call 911 or other emergency services, chew 1 adult-strength (325 mg) or 2 to 4 low-dose (81 mg) ASA if you are not allergic to ASA and if there is no other reason that you can't take ASA. ASA slows blood clotting, so a blood clot that is causing the heart attack stays smaller.
You may also take low-dose ASA (81 mg) every day to help lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Low-dose ASA may be used:
ASA can help lower your chance of having a heart attack.1 It also reduces the chance of a stroke or a "mini-stroke." A mini-stroke is also called a TIA. If you have a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke, ASA will have even more benefit for you.
Daily ASA can benefit men and women who have never had a heart attack or stroke. But the benefits seem to differ by gender. For men, ASA seems to work better to prevent a heart attack. And for women, ASA seems to work better to prevent a stroke.
For people who have had a heart attack or stroke, ASA can help prevent a second heart attack or stroke.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor right away if you have any unusual bleeding, such as:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
For more information about taking daily ASA, see the topic Low-Dose ASA Therapy.
If you have had a heart attack or stroke, your doctor has probably already prescribed ASA for you.
If you do not take ASA, talk to your doctor before you start taking ASA every day.
For help on the decision to take daily ASA, see the topic:
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments. And call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Last Revised: March 1, 2012
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.