Is it the new miracle drug?
Suddenly aspirin is more than an effective painkiller. It is being used in the prevention of bowel cancer, cardiovascular disease and strokes. Now people wonder if it could offer hope to smokers too.
It has been hailed as a versatile drug for which doctors are finding new uses all the time.
Recently, a hospital in America announced that aspirin could help to reduce the risk of lung cancer. A study revealed that a group of women who had taken aspirin three or more times a week for at least six months, had reduced risks of developing any kind of lung cancer. But there is no doubt about the fact that abstaining from smoking is by far, the best way to avoid lung cancer.
Heart patients and those who have suffered strokes have benefited with a daily dose of aspirin. It has anti coagulant properties, which prevents blood from clotting.
It is little wonder then that aspirin is widely acclaimed as a wonder drug. It is cheap and is easily available.
But aspirin, though largely considered very safe to consume, is not totally without side effects.
It thins the blood and prevents clotting. But it could cause one to bleed a lot more when injury occurs. It increases the risk of bleeding disorders and can lead to gastrointestinal haemorrhage.
Aspirin is also quite harsh on the lining of the stomach and can aggravate stomach ulcers.
It should be administered to children with abundant caution. When given to children with fever or chicken pox, it can cause a condition called Reye's syndrome - a devastating diseases that can damage the brain and liver.
Medical experts also warn that aspirin should not be used as a preventive drug. People with no history of heart disease or stroke should not start long-term aspirin medication.
It's always more sensible to first consult a renowned doctor.