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News1990April › Aspirin: not quite the wonder drug, after all › April 1990

Aspirin: not quite the wonder drug, after all

It wasn't so long ago that aspirin was being hailed as one of the wonder drugs of the 20th century

It wasn't so long ago that aspirin was being hailed as one of the wonder drugs of the 20th century. It was so good, in fact, that some zealots were saying it should be part of everyone's daily health regime.

This advice may need a slight adjustment following several studies that have suggested that aspirin might cause as many problems as it's supposed to prevent.

The latest is aspirin-induced asthma, which could affect up to 21% of all those who regularly take it or another NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).

This extraordinary discovery was based an an analysis of 66 medical papers, some of which date back to 1964. As the reaction was known 40 years ago, the wonder is that aspirin was crowned a wonder drug in the first place.

While on the subject of aspirin, a new study has found that many people who regularly take the drug still suffer heart problems. This phenomenon has given birth to a new condition: aspirin resistance. No chance that the drug doesn't actually offer protection, then?

(Source: British Medical Journal, 2004; 328: 434-7).


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