If you do not currently have cancer, the first thing you and your doctor will determine is if you are a good candidate for low dose aspirin cancer preventive therapy. If you are not in a high risk group – are under the age of 50 with no familial history of cancer – there may be no need for this course of action at this time.
However, should you all decide to start this therapy, perhaps one of the very best reasons to consult with your doctor before deciding to start taking an aspirin a day is to let him review your list of current medications. You may be taking a prescription for high blood pressure or for diabetes, or even frequent over the counter antacids. These could all be affected by aspirin therapy. Listed below are just a few of the drugs known to interact with aspirin, but the list is by no means complete – just another reason to consult your physician prior to starting aspirin therapy on your own.
- blood thinners such as heparin or warfarin
- blood pressure medication such as fosinopril, lisinopril, ramipril
- diabetes medications like glyburide or insulin
- prednisone and other corticosteroids
- heart medication such as digoxin
- methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis
- other NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen
- other antiplatelet medications like clopdogrel, ticlopidine
- gout medication like probenecid
- diuretics like spironolactone
- sulfinpyrazone used to treat gouty arthritis
- chickenpox vaccine
- valproic acid to control seizures
If you are on one of the above medications your physician may want to change you to another in order to begin aspirin therapy, or make some other decision. An interaction between two medications does not always mean you will have to stop taking one of them – that’s up to your doctor. And, when you’re telling him about what medications you’re taking, don’t forget about caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, vitamins and herbal remedies – they all have an effect on one another and all combine to make up the big picture that is your health.