Dental Dose: The USPSTF may change its aspirin guidance

By Theresa Pablos, editor in chief

October 14, 2021 -- Dental Dose is a twice-monthly video series featuring pharmacologist Tom Viola, RPh. In each episode, Viola shares bite-sized pieces of dental pharmacology news, facts, and myths.

LAS VEGAS - The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is considering changing its recommendations about the use of daily aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease. Viola shared what you need to know about aspirin during an October 13 interview at the ADA's SmileCon meeting.

The guidance around aspirin swings like a pendulum, Viola said during the Facebook Live interview. Regulatory agencies are always weighing whether aspirin's benefits outweigh its risks.

Tom Viola, RPh, speaking at the ADA
Tom Viola, RPh, speaks to a crowd at the ADA's SmileCon.

Part of the reason for the frequent change in recommendations is that aspirin predates the existence of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Viola said. Aspirin never required or received official FDA approval.

In its October 12 draft recommendation statement, the USPSTF said the risks of low-dose aspirin, such as gastric bleeding, outweigh any potential cardiovascular protective effects for many adults between the ages of 40 and 59. The task force also did not recommend the use of low-dose aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease in adults age 60 and older.

Watch the video below to learn more about aspirin's benefits and risks.

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Note: The USPSTF is not part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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