What do Anti-Platelet drugs do?
Anti-platelet drugs lower your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. They reduce blood clotting by making some cells in the blood less "sticky". There are two main anti-platelet medicines. The most common is aspirin. The other is clopidogrel which is used with aspirin for a short time after angiography or angioplasty, especially if you have had a stent inserted. It is also used with aspirin if you have been in hospital with chest pain or it can be used instead of aspirin if you've tried aspirin and you are truly allergic to it.
You should be taking aspirin unless you are allergic to it. If you are not, ask your doctor whether you should be taking it.
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How do I take them?
Side effects are rare, but a few people may get stomach upsets. If you think the aspirin is upsetting your stomach tell your doctor. Don't stop taking the aspirin.
Bleeding from the stomach and allergic reactions are very rare. Although aspirin can be bought in any pharmacy, and is generally safe, you should only take it after discussion with your doctor.
If you think you have any side effects from your medicine be sure to mention it to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist.
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