Confusion over aspirin regiment for stroke patients

June 16, 2022

Experts from the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Stroke Center are urging stroke patients not to stop taking daily low-dose aspirin without consulting their doctors.

Confusion over a recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation has caused some patients with a history of stroke to abruptly stop the medication, putting their health at risk.

Aspirin is typically prescribed for patients who have experienced or are at increased risk for ischemic stroke, where a blood clot blocks or narrows an artery supplying blood to the brain. Almost 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year, and ischemic stroke is the most common type.

The task force recommended that patients who have never had a heart attack or stroke not begin a low-dose aspirin regimen because the very slight risk of internal bleeding caused by the aspirin outweighs its potential benefit in preventing a first heart attack or stroke for these patients.

The Cedars-Sinai Newsroom asked Shlee S. Song, MD, director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center, vice chair for Neurology System Integration and professor of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai, and Konrad H. Schlick, MD, assistant professor of Neurology and director of the Vascular Neurology Fellowship Program, to clarify aspirin recommendations for stroke patients and others.

Cedars-Sinai release