What is aspirin resistance?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Some people -- perhaps as many as 40% -- may not experience all or any of the anticlotting benefit from taking aspirin. Several factors may explain this so-called aspirin resistance. For instance, the body's response to aspirin may change over time. Some people have trouble absorbing aspirin from the digestive tract. Smoking blunts the effect of aspirin on platelets, as do being overweight and having high cholesterol or high blood pressure. A variety of genes influence how the body responds to aspirin. Finally, a few studies have indicated that a common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), ibuprofen, may block aspirin's protective effects. The occasional dose of ibuprofen isn't likely to do this, but daily use could.

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