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Senior Health: Top Risks of an Aspirin Regimen

By Jonathan Wells, 9:00 am on

In 2014, the FDA reversed its decades-long promotion of daily aspirin therapy due to potential risks for many Americans, especially the elderly. While many seniors can benefit from aspirin therapy, it’s important to understand the risks and discuss them with a physician. Following, Home Care Assistance Douglas County expands on some of the more serious risks.

1. Aspirin may damage the lining of the intestine and stomach

If low-dose aspirin therapy is continued for too long, it will wear away at the protective layer inside the intestine and stomach. This layer protects your organs from your stomach acid. As it becomes damaged, there is a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding that may be life-threatening. The risk of bleeding from aspirin use increases with age.

2. Aspirin increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke

Many seniors take aspirin to reduce their risk of stroke. While aspirin therapy can reduce the risk of a clot-related stroke, it actually increases the risk of a hemorrhagic stroke. Also known as a bleeding stroke, this type of stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures. The risk of suffering a bleeding stroke due to aspirin increases with age.

3. Aspirin can have drug interactions with prescriptions

Many prescription medications can cause a dangerous drug interaction when taken with aspirin. Anticoagulants like warfarin, rivaroxaban, and dabigatran can all increase the risk of major bleeding when taken with aspirin. Other medication like corticosteroids taken for arthritis, some antidepressants, and ibuprofen may also cause an interaction.

4. Seniors may develop an aspirin sensitivity

Some people are allergic to aspirin while others develop a non-allergic sensitivity. Seniors who do not have an allergy when they begin aspirin therapy are not necessarily safe from this risk as an allergy can develop over time. When someone with an allergy or sensitivity takes aspirin, the symptoms may be dangerous. Common symptoms include hives, rash, headache, nausea, and stomach cramping.

Learn more about staying healthy during the golden years from the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance. We offer hourly and live-in care Douglas County seniors rely on for the additional help and support needed to maintain overall wellbeing while safely aging in place. Give us a call at 720-287-1685 and speak with a friendly Care Manager today.