One of the side effects of aspirin is reduced platelet function. Aspirin can potentially make issues with blood clotting worse.
Thrombocytopenia is the medical term for low platelet count. Platelets are a type of blood cell that helps your blood clot.
Having a low platelet count can increase your risk of excessive bleeding. Mild thrombocytopenia might not cause noticeable symptoms, but severe thrombocytopenia can lead to life threatening bleeding even from minor injuries.
Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, is an over-the-counter drug commonly used to reduce pain or fever and to reduce heart disease and stroke risk. It falls into a class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
One of the side effects of aspirin is reduced platelet function. Doctors
Read on to learn more about the connection between aspirin and thrombocytopenia.
Thrombocytopenia can range from mild to severe. A normal platelet count in adults is considered between
Thrombocytopenia is defined as having less than 150,000 platelets per microliter. Lower platelet counts are associated with more severe bleeding.
Aspirin generally isn’t recommended for people with under
How aspirin blocks platelet function
Aspirin reduces the ability of your platelets to stick together to form a clot by blocking the activity of an enzyme called
How aspirin may affect people with thrombocytopenia
People with thrombocytopenia already have a lower than typical number of platelets, and losing the function of remaining platelets may worsen issues with blood clotting and contribute to the following symptoms and signs:
- easy bruising
- excessive bleeding
- prolonged bleeding
- blood in urine
- enlarged spleen
- pinpoint spots on your skin (petechiae)
- menstruation lasting more than 7 days
Severe thrombocytopenia can cause bleeding that can be life threatening.
Doctors often recommend daily low dose aspirin therapy for people at risk of heart disease or who have had a
Your doctor may still recommend aspirin for reducing your chance of heart disease if you’re at an elevated risk of heart disease and your thrombocytopenia is mild.
Aspirin in people with cancer and at risk of cardiovascular disease
Thrombocytopenia is common among people with cancer, especially people with blood cancer. As many as
However, cancer and some cancer treatments can also cause the platelets to stick together and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
As of now, aspirin isn’t a regular part of cancer therapy, but it may play a role in cancer therapy in the future.
Your doctor can best advise you on whether to stop taking aspirin based on the results of blood tests.
Aspirin usually doesn’t cause thrombocytopenia. Aspirin reduces the ability of the platelets to stick together, but it doesn’t reduce the number of platelets.
Aspirin-induced thrombocytopenia has been reported in very
It’s important to speak with your doctor before taking aspirin if you’ve previously been diagnosed with thrombocytopenia or if you have a condition that increases your risk of thrombocytopenia, such as:
- taking certain medications such as heparin and anti-seizure medication
- viral infections like hepatitis C or HIV
- autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
Be sure to speak with your doctor before you stop taking aspirin, especially if they recommended taking aspirin to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here are some frequently asked questions people have about aspirin and thrombocytopenia.
Does aspirin increase platelet counts?
No. Aspirin reduces the ability of your platelets to stick together. Because of this, doctors typically recommend aspirin to people at risk of heart disease.
Does aspirin interfere with platelet production?
Aspirin interferes with the ability of platelets to stick together and form a clot, but it doesn’t affect the production of platelets. In rare cases, an allergy to aspirin has been linked to a reduced platelet count.
What other drugs can cause thrombocytopenia?
Drug-induced thrombocytopenia can be caused by
Thrombocytopenia is when your body doesn’t produce enough platelets. Aspirin may exacerbate symptoms of thrombocytopenia by impairing the ability of your platelets to stick together. Very rarely, aspirin may induce thrombocytopenia by causing an allergic reaction.
It’s important to speak with your doctor before starting daily aspirin therapy regardless of whether you have thrombocytopenia.