According to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, aspirin may be a possible alternative for patients who can’t take long-term anticoagulant drugs to prevent blood clots.

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The International Collaboration of Aspirin Trials for Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism (INSPIRE) analysis looked at two similar independent studies in which a total of 1,224 patients who were taking aspirin 100mg daily to treat blood clots were monitored for 2 years. Results of the analysis showed that aspirin reduced the risk of recurring venous thromboembolism by up to 42% (hazard ratio [HR] 0.58, 95% CI: 0.40–0.85, P=0.005). 

Compared to an anticoagulant like warfarin, aspirin does not require laboratory monitoring, and is associated with approximately a 10-fold lower incidence of bleeding compared to oral anticoagulants.

The researchers still recommend patients talk to their doctor about taking aspirin after discontinuing treatment with anticoagulants. 

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