(ABC NEWS) – Taking a daily low-dose aspirin? A prescription for powerful Coumadin, an even stronger blood thinner? Millions of Americans take them, often to lower the risks of strokes and other problems linked to clotting of the blood.
But every medicine has risks that come along with the benefits. And a new report is an important reminder that even taking regular, low-dose aspirin should only be done under the advice and supervision of your doctor.
Sorry to say, it can be dangerous.
Danish researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at more than ten thousand cases of a type of brain bleed known as subdural hematoma. Finding that the risk of this potentially deadly complication appears to be higher in people taking any type of blood thinner.
The greatest risks seen with the use of high-powered prescription blood thinners.
But the researchers showed that aspirin, too, led to a small but significant risk.
Of course the irony is immediate – taking blood thinners to ward off strokes can cause a stroke.
So while that daily aspirin is generally quite safe, it still makes sens to take it only if you and your doctor first make sure the benefits you get are worth this small risk.