“Many patients with atrial fibrillation may be taking aspirin because they think it is ‘good for their health,’ said Dr T Jared Bunch of Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, UT. “But if they are not taking it for a prescribed reason (because they have CAD or a stent), they should stop taking aspirin because it adds risk over time.”
As I reported in my 2015 AF Symposium report:
Aspirin is no longer recommended as first-line therapy to prevent A-Fib stroke.
It’s amazing how many of us have been convinced to take a baby aspirin daily to improve heart health and to prevent a stroke (myself included).
Taking an aspirin isn’t like taking a vitamin. Aspirin is a pharmaceutical drug.
We now know we are risking tearing up our stomach with GI bleeds and developing a hemorrhagic stroke.
It’s all too easy to take an aspirin―we don’t need a prescription to get it. But taking an aspirin isn’t like taking a vitamin. Aspirin is a pharmaceutical drug.
Discuss Aspirin Therapy With Your Doctor: You should discuss aspirin therapy with your doctor just as you do for any other (by prescription) blood thinner. You might want to take along a copy my AF Symposium report, AHA/ACC/HRS Treatment Guideline Changes.
Note: Suddenly stopping daily aspirin therapy could have a rebound effect that may trigger a blood clot. If you have been taking daily aspirin therapy and want to stop, it’s important to talk to your doctor before making any changes.
Dr. Hugh Calkins from Johns Hopkins University discussed the new AHA/ACC/HRS Guidelines for the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation and how they now differ somewhat from the European (ESC) Guidelines. The AHA/ACC/HRS Guidelines are an important reference for your cardiologist and electrophysiologist. Read my summary of his presentation including these key points:
• Aspirin no longer recommended as first-line therapy (downgraded in the 2006 and 2014 guidelines);
• Gender-bias in Guidelines?: Should every woman with A-Fib be given a point on the Guidelines risk scale?;
• What Happens to Someone Taking Anticoagulants for Years?: Unlike what you hear in today’s advertising, anticoagulants are not like taking vitamins;
• Concern About Leaving Patients in A-Fib: If you leave someone in A-Fib, you may never be able to get them back into sinus rhythm.
Learn must more from Dr. Calkins presentation. Read my AHA/ACC/HRS Guidelines summary report.