A new test has been developed to measure the effectiveness of Aspirin Therapy, based on research showing that up to 25% of patients are not experiencing the benefits of taking aspirin on a daily basis. The Aspirin Response Test gives the physician an opportunity to alter treatment methods for the patient, resulting in further prevention of heart attacks.
Millions of Americans are taking aspirin to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. But what is not generally known is that up to 25% of patients on aspirin therapy receive little or no benefit from it. And because aspirin can cause stomach upset, ulcers, and even gastrointestinal bleeding, this question has become a significant medical concern. Now, breakthrough research may have an answer, according to Dr. Joseph Sciabbarrasi, an integrative medical doctor practicing in West Los Angeles. “We now have a simple urine test to determine if aspirin is actually helping prevent blood clots from forming.”
The new Aspirin Response Test (ART) measures a substance, thromboxane B2 which is associated with the formation of blood clots. Aspirin is supposed to reduce the formation of this substance in the body. “We know that aspirin is working when thromboxane B2 levels are very low,” says Dr. Sciabbarrasi. “If they are not, a physician can look for ways to reduce risk factors such as high cholesterol or blood sugar. It may be necessary to change the dose of aspirin or consider another medication as well.”
The test performed by Spectracell Laboratories in Houston, was prompted by research which showed that people who do not respond to aspirin are three times more likely to have a fatal heart attack or stroke.
“It’s a new, cutting edge clinical tool to help guide physicians and patients to what is working and what is not,” Sciabbarrasi says. “It individualizes therapy and helps us better treat our patients who take aspirin.”
“I had a heart attack last April,” says Robert, a 52-year-old manager of a car dealership in Los Angeles and placed on aspirin therapy by his cardiologist. He had the ART done in July. Both he and his cardiologist were grateful.
“The aspirin was not protecting me from another clot,” he explained. “My cardiologist was surprised and increased my dose. Thank goodness – the next test was in a good range.”