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Common Painkiller Increases Risk of Brain Bleed, Says Study

Researchers warn that the common painkiller, aspirin, often used to prevent ischaemic strokes, could increase the risk of fatal brain bleeds. 

Aspirin, a blood-thinning medication, is frequently prescribed for older adults to mitigate the risk of ischaemic stroke, which is caused by a blockage in the brain’s blood vessels. However, this precaution may carry more harm than good.

A recent study from Australia examined over 19,000 individuals aged 70 and above for five years. Half of the participants received daily low-dose aspirin, while the rest took a placebo. The findings revealed 1.5% of aspirin users experienced an ischaemic stroke, versus 1.7% in the placebo group, showing negligible benefit.

More alarmingly, 1.1% of those on aspirin endured brain bleeds, compared to 0.8% taking a placebo. Brain bleed, or a subarachnoid hemorrhage, while rare, is typically a fatal stroke resulting from a burst blood vessel in the brain.

Daily aspirin usage has also been linked to an increased risk of anaemia, especially in those aged 65 and over, and other side effects such as indigestion, bleeding, and bruising. Therefore, experts advise caution in activities that might lead to injury, especially for regular aspirin users.

It is crucial to consult your doctor before altering or starting new medications. If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an accident, reach out to the Brain Injury Help Center for legal advice on filing a compensation claim.

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