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Thursday 19th September 2019

Aspirin not the most effective against heart problems

19th June 2014
The NHS in England and Wales have new guidelines on dealing with common heart problems.

Stroke news
It is suggested doctors now use new medicines rather than aspirin to deal with patients' needs.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says blood-thinning drugs like warfarin are better for those who have atrial fibrillation, which can increase a person's risk of stroke.

Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "The revised NICE guidance reflects accumulating evidence that warfarin and the newer anticoagulants are much more effective than aspirin at preventing strokes.

"This does not mean that aspirin is not important and effective at preventing heart attacks and strokes in other circumstances."

What is the result of this new guidance?

Although experts say most doctors are already doing this, the advice will affect hundreds of thousands of patients.

Aspirin has been used for years to help protect patients from strokes, but evidence has suggested the drug's benefits are smaller than newer treatments.  

NICE say that anticoagulant drugs other than warfarin may be the most suitable because they do not require monitoring.

This will be the first time they will have updated the guidelines since they were originally issued - in 2006.

Experts warn that stopping the use of aspirin should be gradual and only under the advice of a doctor.

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