Taking low-dose aspirin and NSAIDs can be a challenge (Part 2)

General Health, Heart Health
In a previous blog, "Taking low-dose aspirin and NSAIDs can be a challenge - (Part 1)," I wrote: I have many patients who are taking low-dose (81 mg) aspirin (ASA) daily and who wonder if they can take a Non-Steroidal Ant-Iinflammatory Drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) for pain or fever. I warn them that adding an NSAID increases their gastrointestinal (GI) risk … and can possibly increase their cardiovascular (CV) risk. (more…)
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Aspirin more effective at preventing cancer deaths than previously thought

Cancer
In the advertisements for aspirin you see every day on TV and in magazines, they have for years called it a wonder drug. Now, more and more of us doctors are finding that is truly the case. In past blogs I've told you, "Low-dose aspirin reduces risk of developing and dying from colon cancer," and "Single Dose of Aspirin Effective in Relieving Migraine Pain." And, millions of people take 81 mg of aspirin every day for heart health. Now, a new study in The Lancet indicates that "aspirin may be much more effective than anyone knew at helping prevent cancer deaths." The stunning finding came while researchers were studying 25,000 people taking daily aspirin to prevent heart disease. It turns out aspirin was doing something else, reducing the death rate from…
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Low-dose aspirin reduces risk of developing and dying from colon cancer

Cancer
ABC World News reported what most of us doctors have known for some time: that "at high doses, aspirin can cause side effects, like bleeding and stomach discomfort;" however, we also know that the "low dose of aspirin a lot of people are already taking for their hearts may reduce the risk of colon cancer by a quarter and deaths from the disease by a third." Now, new research is confirming these earlier findings. Indeed, "aspirin should not replace screening tests like colonoscopies, and because it has serious side effects ... people should talk to their doctors before taking even a low dose of aspirin on a regular basis," the CBS Evening News reported. Still, "a daily dose of baby aspirin" over a long period of time may be the…
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Single Dose of Aspirin Effective in Relieving Migraine Pain

Men's Health, Woman's Health
A single 1000-mg dose of aspirin is an effective treatment of acute migraine headaches for more than half of people who take it, and the addition of 10 mg of metoclopramide (Reglan) may reduce nausea, according to the findings of a literature review published by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Here are the details from MedScape: "Aspirin plus metoclopramide would seem to be a good first-line therapy for acute migraine attacks in this population," write Varo Kirthi, MD, and colleagues, with the Pain Research and the Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics at the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, United Kingdom. The researchers selected 13 studies, including 4222 participants, that were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, or active-controlled; evaluated the use of aspirin to treat a single migraine headache episode; and included at…
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Good News for those with Migraine Headaches

Men's Health, Woman's Health
Here's a good news story for those of us who suffer with migraine headaches. According to two new studies, migraine sufferers may be able to get sufficient relief without turning to prescription drugs. The studies, published in the latest issue of the journal Headache, conclude that naproxen (marketed over-the-counter [OTC] as Aleve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) effectively decreased or eliminated pain and reduced migraine recurrence and migraine-associated symptoms to a degree defined as a "desirable outcome" of migraine therapy by the International Headache Society. Here are more details from Reuters Health: Migraine headache affects as many as 28 million Americans and costs the U.S. economy an estimated $24 billion every year. About three-quarters of people who suffer from migraines report more than one migraine a month. The symptoms --…
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Herbals and Heart Health

Alternative Medicine, Heart Health
The folks at Natural Standard recently sent out a notice of a significant review in the cardiology literature on the potential interactions between herbs and heart medications. A news release on the study can be found here. This new analysis suggests that herbal supplements, such as Ginkgo biloba and garlic, may cause dangerous interactions when combined with heart medications. Some examples of herbs and their adverse effect on heart disease management include: St. John’s wort, which is typically used to treat depression, anxiety and sleep disorders among other problems, reduces the effectiveness of medications contributing to recurrences of arrhythmia, high blood pressure or increase in blood cholesterol levels and risk for future heart problems. Ginkgo biloba, which is supposedly used to improve circulation or sharpen the mind, increases bleeding risk in…
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Study indicates inexpensive polypill pill may significantly reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. Should you consider it?

Heart Health, Medical Economics, Men's Health, Woman's Health
On the March 30th edition of the ABC World News, Charles Gibson reported, "Some of the country's leading heart doctors heard results" yesterday at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) conference "about ... just one pill that could revolutionize the way heart disease is treated. This pill combines five commonly used medications, and new findings show it to be safe and effective." Should you get your doctor to prescribe this to you? More Information: (more…)
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