Is your Aspirin treatment effectively preventing thrombotic stroke?
The Stroke Association works to improve stroke prevention, treatment and care with a vision for a world where there are fewer strokes. They host Stroke Awareness Month every year and “Make May Purple” to raise awareness of the ways to lower the risks of taking a stroke and to help those affected by it.
What is a stroke?
For the brain to function properly, it needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by the blood. Stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or, more commonly, when a blockage develops which leaves the supply of the blood to the brain limited or completely obstructed and without treatment; cells in the brain quickly begin to die.
If an individual is at risk or has suffered from a stroke before, medication is often recommended by doctors to lower the risk. Anti-platelet drugs, including Aspirin, keep platelets in the blood from sticking together and forming clots possibly preventing another stroke.
However, there are risks to taking Aspirin every day…
There can be risks of taking Aspirin and some experts do not recommend it if the individual hasn’t already had a stroke. The benefits of taking daily Aspirin therapy don’t outweigh the risk of bleeding in people with a low risk of strokes; although the higher the risk of stroke, the more likely it is that the benefits of daily Aspirin outweigh the risk of bleeding.
Taking daily Aspirin may help to reduce clot-related stroke but it also may increase the risk of a bleeding stroke known as haemorrhagic stroke. Daily Aspirin may also increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, if an individual has a bleeding ulcer or if they are bleeding anywhere else in the gastrointestinal tract, taking Aspirin will cause it to bleed more. Also some individuals can be allergic to Aspirin and if they take any it can trigger a serious allergic reaction.
Not everyone responds in the same way to Aspirin!
For a number of reasons including genetic factors; other medications; dosage problems; diabetes; and elevated cholesterol, not all patients respond in the same way to Aspirin therapy. Aspirin resistance is a serious clinical problem and is estimated to affect up to 30% of patients on a low dosage. It is vital that Aspirin resistance is recognised as these patients may need their treatment altered to prevent dangerous clotting.
The TxBCardio™ test helps to identify patients who have a sub-optimum response to their Aspirin therapy. Patients who have a sub-optimum response to their Aspirin therapy are three times more likely to die from a stroke than those who respond positively to such therapy.
This Stroke Awareness Month, we are encouraging the testing of at-risk individuals to ensure that they are responding in the correct way to Aspirin therapy, by taking the TxBCardio™ test! This will not only help the tailoring of treatment to reduce the risk of stroke, but it will also ensure that patients are not exposed to any unnecessary risk of side-effects associated with daily Aspirin consumption.
For health professionals
The primary action of Aspirin is to inhibit the production of thromboxane in the blood, a chemical which helps to cause blood clotting. However, methods of directly measuring the level of thromboxane in blood are unreliable, and so not widely used. Randox TxBCardio™ measures a direct urinary metabolite of thromboxane, 11dhTxB, therefore providing a reliable and stable measure of a patient’s response to their daily Aspirin therapy. This test is available on most automated biochemistry analysers.
Contact us now to request a brochure or kit insert.