Aspirin is an ‘antiplatelet’ drug. Other similar antiplatelet agents include: Clopidogrel, Dipyridamole, Prasugrel  and Ticagrelor.

Mechanism of action

Aspirin is taken to prevent the aggregation of platelets (a normal component of the blood) to form a blood clot in the arteries.  Aspirin is most commonly used in individuals with established coronary artery disease or stroke.  In such patients, Aspirin has been shown to reduce the incidence of recurrent non-fatal myocardial infarction and stroke by one third and one quarter respectively. Use of Aspirin to prevent the development of coronary artery disease is more controversial.

Potential side effects

Aspirin should be used with caution in individuals with asthma. Common side-effects of Aspirin include: gastro-intestinal irritation and gastro-intestinal bleeding.