In the UK, aspirin is only licensed for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease
A number of recent studies have shown that the risks of aspirin outweigh the benefits in primary prevention, lending support to the licensed indications.
Research presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona, Spain, last month found that routine aspirin use failed to cut the number of non-fatal coronary events or strokes compared with placebo.
But despite the lack of evidence, a number of GPs still continue to prescribe aspirin for primary prevention.
The MHRA advises health professionals that if aspirin is used in primary prevention, the balance of benefits and risks should be considered for each individual, particularly the presence of risk factors for vascular disease and the risk of GI bleeding.