Monday, January 08, 2007

Don't Cut Daily Aspirin Therapy Short

tidbits that tantalize

We're Unstoppable -

Yes, We Are...

Wow, what a seminar! Dynamic speaker, fabulous PowerPoint presentation and, though you love your mother, the absolute best chocolate chip cookies you've ever eaten.

You amble through the hotel lobby, feeling great about yourself, great about life, great about - heck, great about everything! You haven't been this inspired since the seventh grade, when Sarah Dempsey asked you to the Sadie Hawkins dance. What a night that was, though, as you remember it, the cookies were less than spectacular.

You stop before a mirror and take stock of the new man you've become in a mere twelve hours, spread over two days, and including two lunches, six breaks and an after hours meet-and-greet at the hotel bar. You're impressed at... You wipe away a dab of chocolate clinging to your lip - now, you're impressed with what you see: A man of determination and vision, an unstoppable dynamo with an unquenchable will to succeed.

Your first task? Health! You can do it. Watch out 5am, here you come! You reach into your pocket for your keys and find your daily dose of aspirin, two little pills to help you ward off heart disease. Well, you won't be needing those any longer - it's early morning workouts, oatmeal breakfasts and steady living for you.

You toss the aspirin into the trash and waltz out the door...

Ten days later - you struggle for your life as an ambulance races you to the emergency room. A blood clot has developed and you've suffered a major heart attack...

Researchers from Turin, Italy recently reported that patients taking daily aspirin therapy should not suddenly stop taking their daily dose. The scientists reported such an abrupt stoppage of aspirin increases the risk of an adverse coronary event 300%, with the average time to the adverse event being ten days.

Conventional guidelines call for patients on daily aspirin therapy to discontinue its daily use prior to surgery. However, the recent study calls this strategy into question for most surgeries. The possible exceptions are intracranial procedures and prostate surgeries. Even in these cases, researchers urge a quick resumption of the daily aspirin therapy, certainly prior to the ten-day marker.

What to do? Well, review your notes, stay motivated, eat your oatmeal and... take your aspirin. On your morning miracle walks, envision yourself as the perfect blend of muscle and medicine, willpower and willow bark derivative, unstoppable force...

One word of caution - don't tell mom about the chocolate chip cookies.

To read more about the pros and cons of daily aspirin therapy, see this from Mayo Clinic.


Blogger Jeff said...

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4:59 AM  
Anonymous Matt Keegan said...

Thanks for the "I didn't know that!" bit of information, Tim. I had stopped taking my aspirin last month as I had ran out of coated 81 mg tablets that I had around the house. Many more than ten days passed before I started up again. With the information that you shared, I know NOT to let that happen again.

Thanks for the warning tip.

4:43 PM  

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