Aspirin has become a popular over the counter medication recommended to reduce the risk of heart disease. Many doctors also frequently suggest taking aspirin to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), otherwise known as blood clots (see prior blog). On the contrary, there is little evidence supporting this claim.
Aspirin does help prevent blood clots in the arteries, but those differ from clots in the veins. Arterial clots are composed of cells called platelets. Aspirin and Ibuprofen (Advil) help make the platelets less “sticky” which keeps the blood flowing and helps prevent stokes. Venous clots are made up of fibrin, not platelets. So aspirin does very little in preventing DVT. You also need to be careful with aspirin’s risk of bleeding ulcers in the stomach.