Harvard Health Letter

What you should know about: Aspirin during a heart attack

Chewing an aspirin tablet during the first symptoms of what could be a heart attack can save your life. But in order for it to work properly, you must understand which kind of aspirin to take, and how to take it.

Why?

A heart attack is usually the result of a blood clot in a coronary artery that blocks blood flow. Aspirin inhibits the formation of a clot and helps restore blood flow.

What?

Chewing one regular-strength adult 325-milligram (mg) aspirin, and swallowing it, should be sufficient. Avoid coated aspirins, as they are absorbed slowly. If you normally take an 81-mg aspirin (baby aspirin) as part of your daily aspirin therapy to prevent cardiac events, you'll still want the full-size 325-mg version to take during a heart attack.

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