/publications/issue/2006/2006-12/2006-12-6116

SMOKING WEAKENS ANTICLOTTING EFFECT OF ASPIRIN

Author: Anna D. Garrett, PharmD, BCPS, CPP

Smokers may be 12 times more resistant to the effects of aspirin. Researchers recently published the findings of a study designed to determine which factors predicted a poor response to aspirin. One third of the 123 subjects were smokers. Patients were evaluated based on the dose of aspirin they were taking. Eight of the 66 patients taking low-dose (81 mg) aspirin were found to be resistant to its effects. When the dose was increased to 325 mg, only one patient remained resistant. In the group that took 325 mg, 3 were resistant. Adding a dose of clopidogrel resulted in a response in 2 of these 3 patients.

The authors concluded that smoking may contribute to aspirin resistance. This finding further reinforces the need for smoking cessation.

Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, NC.