(WGGB/WSHM) -- Two recent studies report that taking aspirin regularly could reduce severe cases of COVID-19, but before you grab for that bottle, there is a reason you may want to hold off
We spoke to a doctor from Baystate on Monday who isn't advising our viewers to now start taking aspirin to help with COVID-19 and he explains why.
A new study from George Washington University found regular, low-dose aspirin use can decrease the chance of ICU admission, need for ventilation, and even death from COVID-19.
“This is not surprising in my opinion,” said Dr. Armando Paez, chief of infectious diseases at Baystate Medical Center.
Paez said aspirin has a long history of preventing the formation of blood clots.
“We know that with COVID-19, there is severe inflammation with infection, leading to hypercoagulable state where there is increased tendencies of blood clotting,” Paez noted.
That can increase the need for ventilation and ICU admission for patients with COVID-19.
“We know that aspirin acts in preventing inflammation,” Paez noted.
Paez said it's not surprising this is something scientists are looking into, but he said their findings aren’t concrete enough to change treatment for COVID-19 patients.
“This is just an association of aspirin benefit,” Paez said.
Another study out of Israel, published in the Febs Journal, said their findings suggest that daily aspirin users could be protected against the coronavirus.
“There may be some uncontrolled variables,” Paez added.
Paez said there may be other reasons for those results. For example, patients who take aspirin regularly may be more cautious about following precautions like sanitizing and social distancing.
“…Or they may be taking other medications,” Paez said, adding that it could also be helping prevent them from contracting the disease. Therefore, Paez isn't advising our Western Mass News viewers to take aspirin just yet.
“It has also side effects, particularly bleeding,” Paez noted.
That could be bad for people with histories of stomach ulcers or excessive bleeding.
“I don't think at this point that one should go ahead and take aspirin either for prevention or getting infected with SARS CoV-2,” Paez explained.
Paez said he believes more discussions and studies are needed before anyone starts taking aspirin, but it is hopeful that it could be helpful in fighting off the virus down the road.