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Is aspirin an effective alternative to costly anticoagulant medications?

Category: Coagulation and blood clotting disorders

Is aspirin an effective alternative to costly anticoagulant medications?

Blood thinning medication used to prevent blood clots can be costly. However, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has revealed that aspirin may be just as effective for reducing clots, particularly after procedures such as hip replacement surgery.

"If aspirin turns out to be as good as Xarelto [blood thinning medication], given the number of joint [replacement] surgeries done in North America, it could save the health care system millions if it's proven to be at least as effective," said David Anderson, M.D., a professor and head of the department of medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Hip replacement surgery typically leaves people more susceptible to clotting, including serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Anticoagulant medications like heparin are commonly prescribed to help these patients during recovery, but the blood-thinning qualities in aspirin make it a viable and effective alternative to these pricey alternatives.

"I think we have demonstrated that a very simple, inexpensive oral therapy appears to be as good as a more expensive, more potent, less convenient anticoagulant agent for the prevention of blood clots following total hip replacement," Anderson added.

Preventing clots can be difficult, but by understanding particular triggers that may set them off in a person's body, one may have a better opportunity to enjoy good health.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, adults who have recently had surgery, are over the age of 65, have sustained broken bones, cancer or are obese may be more likely to be affected by clotting than those who have not.

A person can also take charge of your own wellness by undergoing protime tests. Any kind of blood testing that can be done outside of a healthcare provider's office can enable people to gain better insight into overall health.

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