Doctors think that COVID-19 can sometimes cause blood clots. So “blood thinning” drugs like aspirin are being investigated as possible treatments. In one study of patients with COVID-19 on ventilators, patients who received blood thinning drugs were less likely to die.
But this was not a clinical trial, where patients are randomly assigned to receive treatment or a placebo. Also, the drugs used in the study were intravenous drugs, not aspirin. So a clinical trial using aspirin is still needed to show whether aspirin is helpful for preventing blood clots in COVID-19. Fortunately, one is underway.
In the meantime, doctors do not recommend taking aspiring just to prevent blood clots in COVID-19. In fact, they 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 helpful for preventing heart attacks and strokes, the American Heart Association agrees 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.
So if your doctor advised you to take aspirin daily, you should keep doing it. And now is as good a time as any to talk (by phone!) with your doctor about whether aspirin might reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. But don’t start taking aspirin because of COVID-19.
If you, or someone you know, has taken more than the recommended dose of aspirin, contact Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222.
Last update: June 11, 2020 7:00 pm
Science review: AGB, JAB