Aspirin is a salicylate drug that acts by irreversible inhibition of cyclooxygenase. This results in inhibition of thromboxane A2, an important determinant of platelet aggregation. The antiplatelet effects of aspirin last approximately 7 days. Historically, aspirin was used as a pain reliever, however due to the risk of peptic ulcer disease and alternative options, this us is uncommon currently.
..The predominant use is for the primary and secondary prevention of acute coronary syndromes and stroke resulting from the platelet inhibitory effects preventing coronary and cerebral thrombosis. For primary prevention indications include diabetes mellitus type II or a coronary risk equivalent (peripheral arterial disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease). Using aspirin for primary prevention in patients without a coronary risk equivalent should be individualized. For example, a middle-ages person with hypertension and dyslipidemia who has a strong family history of heart disease may benefit if there is no significant bleeding risk. Secondary prevention refers to preventing a recurrent event once a diagnosis of coronary artery disease or cerebralvascular disease has been made.
Aspirin is used therapeutically during acute coronary syndromes and during percuteneous coronary intervention (PCI).