"If I think I'm having a heart attack, how much aspirin should I take?"
I know aspirin is good to those who experience a heart attack, but how much? I'm wondering because my mom has heart disease, I am afraid this may lead to a heart attack one day.
Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug that inhibits an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, or COX. By inhibiting this enzyme, aspirin not only has an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body, it inhibits a component in a type of blood cell called platelets. An early step in clot formation is activation of platelets and for this reason aspirin makes it more difficult to form a blood clot. Since a blood clot in one of the coronary arteries is the most common cause of a heart attack, aspirin is beneficial for people who are having a heart attack. Still, it is important to discuss this with your mother's cardiologist. If you or someone you know develop symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain, chest pressure, shortness of breath, stomach pain, nausea, lightheadedness, anxiety, or cool clammy skin, the first thing you should do is call 911 immediately for urgent transfer to a nearby hospital. One of the most important factors in surviving a heart attack is having it diagnosed and treated by a physician as soon as possible. But you are right that aspirin can be helpful. There is clinical evidence suggesting that taking aspirin at the first sign of a heart attack may be beneficial. Most sources recommend chewing and then swallowing one 325 mg tablet of non-enteric-coated aspirin at the first sign of a heart attack. If you do not have aspirin in the house, the paramedics will have it when they arrive. However, it is very important to visit the cardiologist with your mother to discuss whether aspirin would be safe and effective in her case, or whether other additional medications may be recommended.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.