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Amid rising in heart attack cases, expert advises keeping ‘aspirin tablet 300 mg in your pockets always’; here’s why

India and the world, at large, are witnessing a sharp spike in cases of heart attacks, across all age groups. In an earlier interaction with indianexpress.com, Dr Subhendu Mohanty, Head and Senior Consultant, Sharda Hospital said that cardiac arrest and heart attack are becoming more common in the younger age group today than it was 10-15 years back. “In the last two years or so, there have been rising incidences, so much that we have seen heart attacks in those aged 18 and 20 also,” he said.

Also, the sudden deaths of celebrities like Siddhaanth Vir Surryavanshi, Raju Srivastava, and Sidharth Shukla due to heart attacks stand testimony to the same. Further, it was also revealed that 21-year-old influencer Megha Thakur, who died in November, reportedly suffered a heart attack months back. As such, hashtag #heartattack trended on Twitter in the last couple of days in the wake of which Dr Edmond Fernandes, a physician, advised everyone to keep aspirin tablets handy.

“With #heartattack trending, keep tab Aspirin 300 mg in your pockets/wallets always and pop it asap if you develop sudden severe chest pain/radiating to neck-left arm. Don’t neglect chest pain as gastritis. Evaluate evaluate. Your heart, your life. Don’t let the valentine fail you,” he wrote on Twitter.

When asked if this advice is applicable to Indians as well, he replied, “We are talking heart attack right? Very much globally applicable. Humans are humans in the US or in India. Stay safe.”

Talking about the same, Dr Sudeep K N, DM Cardiology, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore said that experts advise Disprin 325 mg (an equivalent to aspirin) in cases of an acute heart attack. “Generally, that dosage is not for routine cases. It is an anti-platelet drug which helps in preventing platelet aggregation and acute myocardial infarction.”

He added that it “should be consumed under medical supervision only”, and that “aspirin needs to be coupled with other medications and management methods.”

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But, how does it work? “Aspirin is from a group of medications called salicylates. It works to stop the production of certain natural sickness substances that causes fever, pain, swelling, and blood clots. Aspirin is also combined with other medications such as antacids, pain relievers, and cough and cold medications,” Dr Anand Kumar Pandey, Director and Senior Consultant- Cardiology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital explained.

However, not everyone must consume aspirin. “Ecosprin is avoided in patients with gastric ulcer and severe anaemia as it might cause uncertain GI bleeding and other forms of bleeding. A cardiac patient should not stop aspirin tablets without consulting a cardiologist,” Dr Sudeep said.

Dr Pandey warned that aspirin should not be given to children below 16 years of age unless suggested by their doctors. “To make sure aspirin as a painkiller has no effect on your body, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have or ever had an allergy to taking aspirin or similar painkillers.”

Here are some dos and don’ts you must keep in mind

*Don’t take aspirin on an empty stomach.
*Take it with a full glass of water after your food to prevent stomach upset.
*Don’t break, crush, or chew extended-release tablets or capsules — swallow them whole at once. Chewable aspirin tablets may be chewed, crushed, or dissolved in a liquid.
*Don’t take aspirin in place of other medications or treatments prescribed by your doctor.
*Never take aspirin with alcohol. That increases your risk of stomach bleeding.

Experts also listed some heart attack warning signs: chest pain, pressure and tightness in the chest, a sudden feeling of dizziness, fainting, profuse sweating and shortness of breath.

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