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- If you are a heart attack survivor or you have a history of heart disease, take one low-dose (81 mg) aspirin daily.
- If you are over 50 and have no history of heart disease, take a low-dose aspirin two or three times a week.
- Take aspirin in the morning. That’s when most heart attacks occur. It’s best to take it on a full stomach after eating breakfast.
- If you don’t have low-dose aspirin, you can break a regular aspirin (325 mg) into quarters, although this can be difficult with some tablets.
- If you take a blood thinner like Coumadin (warfarin), or Plavix (clopidogrel), or one of the newer anticoagulants, like Effient (prasugrel), Pradaxa (dabigatran), Xarelto (rivaroxaban), or Eliquis (apixaban), talk to your doctor before you start taking aspirin regularly.
- Before a plane flight, long car trip, or other situation where you’ll be seated for an extended time, take one regular (325 mg) aspirin the day before you go. This can prevent a blood clot from forming in the legs, a condition called deep vein thrombosis, which can be deadly.
- If you think you could be having a heart attack, chew (don’t swallow) two regular (325 mg) aspirin. Uncoated is best, but use any kind you have on hand. If you only have low-dose aspirin, chew five.
- Taking aspirin along with fish oil and/or vitamin E may cause bruising, especially in the elderly. If you notice bruising, cut back on fish oil and vitamin E.
- Most people can take aspirin safely, but if you are undergoing chemotherapy or have a blood disorder, taking aspirin regularly may not be safe. Check with your doctor first.
- If you can’t take aspirin because you are one of the rare people who are allergic to it, there is an alternative. It’s called nattokinase, an enzyme extracted and purified from a Japanese food called nattō. Ask your doctor or alternative medicine practitioner about it.
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