Aspirin for Heart Attacks: What Type Should You Use?

Some people believe that aspirin crystals and powders are more effective than regular aspirin for heart attacks. Is there any truth to this? Find out what type of aspirin you should use if you think you’re having a heart attack.

If you think you’re having a heart attack, get to the hospital as quickly as possible. While you’re waiting for help to arrive, it’s important to get some aspirin into your system. Aspirin helps to reduce heart attack damage by blocking platelets – blood cells which contribute to clot formation. A heart attack comes from a ruptured plaque in an artery that causes a clot to form. This blocks blood flow and damages the heart muscle. So taking aspirin for heart attacks is smart medicine because of its anti-platelet effects. But what kind of aspirin is best?

Bayer Quick Release Crystals: Not a Good Option

There’s a great deal of misinformation about using aspirin for heart attacks. Many people bought into the idea that Bayer Quick Release Crystals, a product that’s since been removed from the market, were more effective than aspirin for heart attacks. This isn’t true.

According to Prescriber’s Letter, Bayer Quick Release Crystals contain three times the amount of aspirin found in a standard 325 milligram aspirin tablet, which is more than doctors recommend for people having a heart attack. In addition, they contain caffeine, which elevates blood pressure – something you don’t want if you or someone you love is having a heart attack.

Fortunately, Bayer Quick Release Crystals were removed from the market in September of 2010. Bayer officials, themselves, recommended that this product not be used as a substitute for regular aspirin for heart attacks.

Aspirin for Heart Attacks: What’s Best?

Reach for a 325 milligram aspirin tablet if you’re having symptoms of a heart attack – and chew it quickly. According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, chewed aspirin starts to work faster. It took 12 minutes for swallowed aspirin to exert its anti-platelet effects, but only five minutes when aspirin was chewed. Don’t use an enteric-coated aspirin since it’s absorbed more slowly.

Don’t use Goody’s or BC powder in lieu of a regular aspirin tablet. Both of these products contain too much aspirin, and they both contain caffeine. A regular 325 milligram aspirin tablet is the treatment of choice until a heart attack victim can get to a hospital. Keep a bottle of 325 milligram aspirin tablets in your medicine cabinet, and carry a few with you wherever you go – just in case. It could save your life – or the life of someone you care about.


Prescriber’s Letter. March 16, 2010.

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