Aspirin – The Good, Bad and Ugly

Angie Szumlinski News

We all know the miracle drug, as children growing up, we had yummy, orange-flavored little tablets that we used for everything from headaches to skinned knees! Then, as we aged, our physicians recommended that we take one low-dose tablet of aspirin a day to assist in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. All good, right?

Well, not so fast! In October 2021, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a draft of its recommendations regarding the role of aspirin in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The draft does not recommend initiating low-dose aspirin as primary prevention for CVD because the risks outweigh the potential benefits.

What does this mean to you? It might be a great PIP for you to initiate! Have your pharmacy and clinical team audit resident medication regimes and determine who is receiving low-dose aspirin and why. You may be surprised at the outcome! Remember, first do no harm, if the risk/benefit of prescribing low-dose aspirin doesn’t support it, discuss your findings with the physician. It is better to overreact than to go with the flow, especially when research doesn’t support a current practice. You can read more in a current article by AMDA, “The Aspirin Controversy Continues Despite New Guidelines Regarding Aspirin Usage in Older Adults” Stay the course, stay informed and be well!