Aspirin Before Bed May Help Heart Patients

by pharmacy on December 11, 2013

Aspirin-heart-patientsTaking aspirin before bed may help your pharmacy patients with cardiovascular disease. A recent study has discovered that hypertension patients who took aspirin at night had better control of their blood pressure than those who continued to take their medication in the morning.

Researchers expanded the study to include patients with cardiovascular disease. The study compared blood pressure and morning platelet reactivity in 290 patients who had survived a heart attack, with some taking their medication at night rather than in the morning. Morning platelet activity is especially dangerous to patients with cardiovascular disease, as cardiac events often happen in the morning. The study followed 290 patients over two three-month periods, and instructed them to take 100 mg of aspirin either before bed or in the morning. The results of the study found that platelet reactivity in the cardiovascular disease patients who took aspirin in the evening was reduced by 22 aspirin reaction units compared to those who had opted to take aspirin in the morning. Patients in the evening group did not suffer more adverse side effects than those that continued a morning medication regime.

The study suggests that reduced morning platelet activity in evening aspirin dosage patients may help to decrease the risk of cardiovascular events during morning hours where risk for events is highest. The study did not determine whether taking aspirin at night lead to a decreased risk of heart attack or stroke. Pharmacies can help their patients with cardiovascular disease in choosing a medication regime that works for them by helping the patient with a schedule. If a patient is taking multiple medications, be sure to ensure that they will not interact in an adverse manner with the aspirin therapy.

Educating patients on the warning signs of a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, can help pharmacies ensure that patients know when to seek medical attention. Creating leaflets with stroke signs, warning signs of a heart attack, and other dangerous symptoms to watch out for can be displayed near the low-dose aspirin in your pharmacy. If there is insufficient aisle space, consider adding leaflets to the counter in a brochure rack for patients to view. The Stroke Association offers stroke training for medical professionals, and patient education materials on their website.

Taking aspirin in the evening can be beneficial to those patients with cardiovascular disease, as the study conducted by the Leiden University Medical Center proves. Helping patients to establish a schedule and take medications on time is the first step toward helping them reduce their risk for a cardiac event. Pharmacists can also help educate their patients by using appropriate literature and reaching out to heart and stroke associations in their local community. By working together, pharmacies and the patients they serve can ensure a better quality of life for those living with cardiovascular disease.

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