Your doctor may suggest that you take a daily low dose if you have had a stroke or a heart attack to help stop you having another one.
Or, if you're at high risk of heart attack – for example, if you have had heart surgery or if you have chest pain (angina) caused by heart disease.
If you’re pregnant, you may be recommended to take low-dose aspirin if:
- you’re at risk of high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
- you have underlying medical conditions where you have been advised to take low dose aspirin
- you have had several miscarriages or complications in a previous pregnancy
Only take daily low-dose aspirin if your doctor recommends it.
Low-dose aspirin comes as tablets, including tablets that dissolve in a drink of water (soluble) and tablets with a special coating (enteric coated/gastro-resistant) to help to protect your stomach.
It's available on prescription. You can also buy it from pharmacies. However, if you’re pregnant, or having fertility treatment, low-dose aspirin will need to be prescribed by your doctor, a pregnancy specialist (obstetrician) or a midwife.
Children are sometimes treated with low-dose aspirin after heart surgery or to treat a rare condition called Kawasaki disease. Children should only take low-dose aspirin if a doctor prescribes it.
Taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes is not the same as taking aspirin for pain relief.
- Daily low-dose aspirin makes your blood less sticky and helps to prevent heart attacks and stroke.
- You’ll usually take a dose of 75mg once a day. Sometimes, doses are higher.
- It's best to take low-dose aspirin with food so it does not upset your stomach.
- Only take low-dose aspirin if your doctor or midwife recommends it, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Carry on taking daily low-dose aspirin even if you feel well, as you'll still be getting the benefits.