Monday’s medical myth: take an aspirin a day after you turn 50

The following article was published on The Conversation.

Monday’s medical myth: take an aspirin a day after you turn 50

By Michael Tam, University of New South Wales

Aspirin is a historical marvel. It’s been manufactured for more than a century and is still in widespread use. No other medication can claim as many different narratives and uses as this analgesic – it’s been known as:

  • A traditional medicine – aspirin-like treatments, based on salicylate, have been derived from plants such as willows for millennia
  • An international blockbuster – at the turn of the twentieth century, aspirin was one of the few effective treatments for fever and pain, and was wildly popular (and profitable)
  • A hazard to children – aspirin was recognised in the 1980s as a potential cause of childhood death
  • A modern wonder-drug – aspirin has been resurrected as an important and inexpensive medication for the prevention and treatment of heart attacks and strokes. Continue reading