Research Article

A regimen for low-dose aspirin?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 06 November 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:1299
  1. S P Hanley,
  2. J Bevan,
  3. S R Cockbill,
  4. S Heptinstall


    The effects of different regimens of 40 mg aspirin on platelet thromboxane A2 synthesis and vascular prostacyclin synthesis were determined in patients who were undergoing elective surgery for removal of varicose veins. Aspirin 40 mg taken at intervals of 48 hours consistently reduced platelet thromboxane A2 synthesis to a level at which it failed to support platelet aggregation and the associated release reaction. This effect lasted for at least 36 hours. In contrast, aspirin 40 mg every 72 hours did not have the same consistent effect. Both dose regimens led to a reduction in vascular prostacyclin synthesis 12 hours after the last dose, but 36 or 72 hours after the last dose prostacyclin synthesis was not reduced; thus the inhibition of prostacyclin synthesis was short lived. If the balance between platelet thromboxane A2 and vascular prostacyclin synthesis is important in thrombosis 40 mg aspirin every 48 hours may have the maximum antithrombotic effect.