Aspirin is a common pain medication available over the counter (OTC). This means that no prescription is necessary in order to obtain it. It is also one of the most affordable and widely available medications world wide.
It is used mainly for the treatment of pain resulting form muscle or joint injury. It can also be used to effectively ease the pain associated with arthritis. Though it can be used for the treatment of fevers, it has been replaced by other medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen which have less known side effects and risk of complications when used for treating fevers.
In addition to being capable of relieving pain, aspirin also has the effect of reducing blood viscosity. For this reason it has become a popular medication used in various ways for both the treatment as well as the prevention of heart attacks.
What causes heart attacks?
In order to understand why aspirin works for the treatment and prevention of heart attacks it is important to first understand what causes a heart attack. Heart attacks are very dangerous and will ultimately result in the heart ceasing to function which in turn leads to death.
Though there are various ways that a heart attack may occur though the most common results from a blockage in one of the main arteries. This blockage results from a blood clot forming and causing the normal flow of blood to cease throughout the body. The clots are caused by the build up of plague within the veins. Plaque is caused by cholesterol and other fatty acid particles in the blood stream that accumulate on the walls of veins and arteries. When this plaque breaks free it causes blood to begin clotting around it which ultimately leads to the obstruction of the artery.
Aspirin for short term heart attack
Because of its blood thinning properties aspirin can help treat a heart attack as soon as it happens. Aspirin is able to inhibit the production of thromboxane which is one of the key hormones responsible for the formation of blood clots. With thromboxane inhibited the blood becomes less viscous which may help to dislodge or at least reduce the size of the blood clot causing the heart attack. For this reason it is important to take aspirin as soon as there are signs a heart attack may be developing. It is important to keep in mind that though aspirin may help treat a heart attack the first line of action when experiencing a heart attack should be to contact an emergency service.
Aspirin for heart attack prevention
Aspirin can also be used on a daily basis in order to lesson the chances of a heart attack developing. The reason that aspirin can successfully reduce the chances of heart attack occurrences is due to the fact that it makes the blood less viscous and therefore less likely to form a clot. The average daily dose for heart attack prevention is 81mg. Studies have shown this reduces the chances of those who are already at a high risk for heart attacks of experiencing an episode.