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Aspirin (Cardiology)

Patient information A-Z


A low dose of aspirin helps to stop blood clots. It lowers the risk of you having a heart attack or stroke. It is usually given to people:

  • who have already had a heart attack
  • who have already had a stroke
  • who have angina
  • who have problems with their blood circulation that could lead to a heart attack or stroke

Taking your aspirin

Take your dose at the same time each day. Aspirin is usually taken in the morning with or soon after a meal. There are two types of aspirin:

  • Soluble aspirin – dissolve the tablet in a little water and drink the mixture.
  • Enteric coated aspirin – swallowed the tablet whole and wash it down with a little water. The tablet must not be crushed or chewed.

Problems to watch out for

  • People who have had a stomach ulcer should not take aspirin. Your doctor can give you another medicine to reduce the risk of blood clots.
  • Tell your doctor if you get stomach upset or stomach pain after taking aspirin.  Tell your doctor if you see blood in your vomit or faeces while taking aspirin.
  • Tell your doctor if you feel wheezy after taking aspirin.
  • Do not take any other medicines containing aspirin. The amount is too small to help with pain relief. If you need a pain killer, paracetamol is usually safe to take.
  • Tell your doctor if you get any unusual effects from taking aspirin.
  • Children under the age of 16 years should not normally take aspirin unless the doctor tells them to.
  • Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not take aspirin unless the doctor tells them to.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151