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Book review: ‘An Aspirin A Day: The Wonder Drug That Could Save YOUR Life’ by Dr Keith Souter

This book is very topical given recent press reports on aspirin preventing cancer.  Written by a GP and medical columnist, Dr Keith Souter, it provides a wonderfully accessible summary of pretty much everything there is to know about aspirin, from its use as a common household painkiller to other more newly discovered benefits.  Written in a manner designed for a layperson to understand, it nonetheless provides comprehensive and detailed notes and would be a useful read for any medical professional too.

The book starts with a history of this revolutionary drug and then takes you through each of its uses systematically, drawing on the evidence base as well as popular opinion in order to present a balanced view.  It covers, among other things, its use combating pain, fever and inflammation, for heart attacks and strokes and to decrease the risk of cancer.  There is even a chapter describing some of the more unusual uses of aspirin, including keeping cut flowers fresh and removing smoking stains!  There is also handy advice on questions to ask your doctor before considering taking aspirin and discusses the possible side effects. 

Reading this book will leave you believing that aspirin really is a wonder drug.

Rating: 8/10

Natalie Smith is a GP ST2 in ENT at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford


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