It’s helped heart attack patients for decades, but now taking low-dose aspirin is being used for a lot more.
Did you know aspirin can prevent migraines?
WUSA9’s Mike Hydeck found a patient who said absolutely.
“They start right here in the front,” the patient said. “It hurts so much you wanted to cry.”
Robert Snip’s migraines started after a motorcycle accident that happened in the 1982.
“I would pretty much fight them as they came and they would pretty much last for up to two or three days,” he said.
Work, hobbies and life were impossible. His doctor prescribed him a daily dose of aspirin after he had a heart attack.
“I noticed the migraines were less frequent,” Snip said.
“Migraines will tend to start in the base of the brain and then travel up and around so they affect most parts of the brain once it’s active," Dr. Jessica Ailani said.
Ailani, who works at Med Star Georgetown University Hospital, said don’t jump to the conclusion that aspirin will help everyone. Everyone is different.
“Sometimes taking over-the-counter medications like aspirin frequently can actually cause more frequent migraines," she said. "You have to really monitor, 'are you getting better' and 'are you staying better,' or did you just get better for a few weeks and then get worse the aspirin can be a culprit.”
The possible side effects of a daily dose of aspirin can lead to stomach pain or bleeding. Ailaini said there are solutions.
“As far as you are concerned it works for you?"
"Absolutely,” Snip said.
Doctors say annual physicals can tell them a lot when it comes to deciding if you are right for daily aspirin.
The results of your blood work and the health of your liver are among many things that go into their decision.