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GPs get advice on aspirin intolerance

GPs have finally received guidance on secondary stroke prevention in patients intolerant to aspirin.

The National Prescribing Centre, which advises the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and helps implement Government prescribing policy, issued advice in lieu of NICE's guidance on the use of antiplatelet agents in high-risk patients due next year.

It recommended GPs should first consider co-prescribing a gastroprotective drug in patients who cannot tolerate 75mg aspirin daily. It also suggested clopidogrel or modified-release dipyridamole but these could still cause

gastrointestinal problems.

Some 18 per cent of

patients on aspirin experience indigestion, nausea or vomiting. Around 5 per cent suffer from a rash, 3 per cent diarrhoea and less than 1 per cent severe gastrointestinal haemorrhage.

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