Asasantin retard capsules contain two active ingredients, aspirin and dipyridamole. These are both known as antiplatelet medicines. They are used to help prevent blood clots forming inside the blood vessels.
Platelets are the blood cells that start off the process of blood clotting. Blood clots normally only form to stop bleeding that has occurred as a result of injury to the tissues. The process is complicated and begins when platelets stick to the site of damage and clump together. They then produce chemicals that attract more platelets and clotting factors to the area, and eventually a solid blood clot is formed. This is the bodys natural way of repairing itself.
Sometimes, however, a blood clot can form inside the blood vessels. This is known as a thrombus and can be dangerous because the clot may detach and travel in the bloodstream (thomboembolism). It may eventually get lodged in a blood vessel, thereby blocking the blood supply to a vital organ such as the brain. This can cause a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischaemic attack).
The active ingredients in Asasantin retard work in two different ways to prevent platelets from forming blood clots inside the blood vessels and causing a stroke.
Aspirin works by blocking the action of an enzyme in the body called cyclo-oxygenase. Cyclo-oxygenase is involved in the production of a substance called thromboxane, which is one of the chemicals that causes platelets to clump together and start off the clotting process. Low doses of aspirin, like those in Asasantin retard, block this action of cyclo-oxygenase and prevent the production of thromboxane by platelets. This reduces the likelihood of clots forming in the blood.
Dipyridamole works by blocking the action of another enzyme found in platelets, called phosphodiesterase. Inside the platelets phosphodiesterase normally breaks down a chemical called cyclic AMP. Cyclic AMP plays a key role in blood clotting. If the level of cyclic AMP in the platelets is high this prevents the platelets from clumping together. Dipyridamole causes the levels of cyclic AMP in the platelets to rise, because it stops phosphodiesterase from breaking it down. This means that dipyridamole stops the platelets from clumping together and causing a blood clot.
Asasantin retard is prescribed to people who have already suffered a stroke or TIA to prevent blood clots causing further strokes.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
There may be an increased risk of bleeding if this medicine is taken in combination with any of the following medicines:
The potential adverse effects of aspirin on the gut may be enhanced if this medicine is taken in combination with any of the following:
Painkilling doses of aspirin reduce the rate at which the body can remove the medicine methotrexate. However, this is unlikely to be a problem with the low doses of aspirin in this medicine.
Dipyridamole increases the effect of the anti-arrhythmic drug adenosine. The dose of adenosine needed in people taking dipyridamole will be much lower than normal.
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain both aspirin and dipyridamole. However, both these medicines are available on their own.