Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — What About Extended-Release Aspirin?

Dear Dr. Walt,

Is the prescription extended-release aspirin (Durlaza) better than over-the-counter aspirin?

—Considering aspirin options in Kentucky

Dear Studious,

I’m seeing more advertisements about Durlaza (dur-LAH-zah) which is designed to slowly release aspirin to prevent recurrent heart attack or stroke “all day long.” The pharmaceutical company’s theory is that over-the-counter (OTC) aspirin only stays in the blood for up to 6 hours.

But the doctors of pharmacology at the Prescriber’s Letter tell medical professionals, “Think of Durlaza as an expensive way to get low-dose aspirin.” They also point out, “There’s no proof Durlaza improves (cardiovascular) outcomes better than OTC immediate-release aspirin. And Durlaza will cost about $6/capsule, compared to just pennies per tab for OTC aspirin.”

They conclude, “There’s no proof that one form of aspirin works better … or is safer … than another.”

Based upon this advice I’m telling my patients for whom I’m recommending daily aspirin to stick with OTC aspirin 81 mg once daily.

This Q&A was originally published in the May 2015 edition of Today’s Christian Living.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2016. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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