The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released new guidelines urging doctors not to routinely prescribe aspirin for a common heart condition, known as atrial fibrillation.
Aspirin not for everyone
NICE recommend that blood-thinning medications are more effective at normalizing patient’s irregular heartbeat and prevent blood clots, which can result in a stroke.
“The revised NICE guidance reflects accumulating evidence that warfarin and the newer anticoagulants are much more effective than aspirin at preventing strokes,” Prof Peter Weissberg said in a statement.
“This does not mean that aspirin is not important and effective at preventing heart attacks and strokes in other circumstances. Patients who are unclear on whether or not they should continue to take aspirin should speak to their doctor.”
Drugs for heart patients
The British Heart Foundation said most doctors were already prescribing drugs according to NICE’s guidelines.
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm problem, which currently effects 800,000 in the UK, with numbers increasing all the time.
NICE’s recommendation will affect hundreds of thousands of irregular heartbeat sufferers.