Should I take aspirin to reduce my risk of blood clots from COVID-19?

Blood clots are an uncommon, but potentially serious, risk of COVID-19 infection. “Blood thinning” drugs like aspirin are being investigated as possible treatments. There was initial hope based on non-randomized studies that found the use of low-dose aspirin before or during hospitalization was found to reduce the risk of death due to COVID-19.  But a large, high-quality clinical trial found that aspirin use in hospitalized COVID patients did not reduce mortality. Additional studies are ongoing.

In the meantime, you should not take aspirin to prevent or treat COVID-19 unless you have consulted with your doctor. In fact, doctors say it’s dangerous to start aspirin without talking with your doctor. Aspirin can cause serious bleeding, even at regular doses. 

Though aspirin can be used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, the American Heart Association cautions that no one should start, stop, or modify an aspirin regimen without talking to their doctor. And children and teens should not take aspirin due to the risk of a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome

If your doctor advised you to take aspirin daily, you should keep doing it. If you have COVID symptoms, you should consult with your doctor about whether a low dose aspirin might be helpful for you, but don’t start taking aspirin to treat or prevent COVID without consulting with a doctor. 

If you, or someone you know, has taken more than the recommended dose of aspirin, contact Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222.

Published: June 17, 2020

Science review: AGB, JAB

Last update: October 15, 2021 9:09 am

Update review: SGB, GHH, GSN