Letter to the editor
Editor, – I refer to G. Weisz' recent letter 'Economy class syndrome' (Aust Prescr 2001;24:52). My understanding is that a recent meta-analysis demonstrated no value in the use of aspirin for venous thromboembolism as prophylaxis and treatment, and a reported 3% chance of some degree of gastrointestinal bleeding. It would seem that the use of this drug is best left to the management of arterial problems. Recommendation as a therapy for prevention of deep vein thrombosis is not supported by the Australian Medicines Handbook ('Aspirin is probably ineffective in the prevention of venous thromboembolism'), and in view of the incidence of adverse effects I would not advise its use for this purpose.
I would be interested to learn of any studies which support the view that there is a place for aspirin in this setting, or indeed in any situation with a recognised risk of venous thrombosis.
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