Compare Aspirin vs. Heparin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Relieves pain, fever, and inflammation. Protects your heart and thins blood. A low dose of Aspirin (81mg) every day can protect your heart, but it's not the best medicine to take for pain, swelling, or fever.Prevents blood clots. Heparin is a good anticoagulant that prevents blood clots. However, you'll need to get frequent blood tests to make sure it's working well.
How it works
Aspirin is a salicylate and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It blocks the inflammation process in your body, which relieves swelling and pain. It also prevents blood platelets from forming clots, which thins your blood.Heparin is an anticoagulant that binds with proteins and platelets to stop blood clots from being made and traveling to the brain, heart, and lungs.
Type of medication
Pain reliever
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Aspirin
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Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Aspirin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Aspirin »

We haven’t found good data for Heparin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Heparin »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Children 18 years or younger
  • Children recovering from viral infections
  • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • Age 60 years or older
  • Taking Aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners
  • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Aspirin allergy
  • NSAID allergy
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Aspirin risks & warnings »
  • History of bleeding problems
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Older age
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
Detailed Heparin risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
  • Take with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • When taking low doses (81 mg) every day, Aspirin provides protection for your heart and prevents heart attacks and stroke.
  • Used in higher doses to relieve pain, swelling, and fever.
  • Available over-the-counter in drugstores by itself and in combination with other cold and flu medications.
  • Safe to use in pregnancy and if you're breast feeding.
  • There are other medications that can help stop unexpected bleeding while taking Heparin.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Usually used in the hospital, but can be given at home too.
Downsides and risks
  • Not a preferred medication for treating pain, swelling, or fever due to its high risk of bleeding.
  • NSAIDs (like ibuprofen and naproxen) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are better for treating pain and fever thank Aspirin.
  • Aspirin raises your risk of bleeding, especially when used with other blood thinner medications like warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Studies show that using higher doses of Aspirin (162 mg or more) every day raises your risk of stomach bleeding and doesn't provide any additional heart protection.
  • You'll need to get labs/blood draws done on a regular basis to make sure the drug is working and to make sure you don't get unexpected side effects.
  • You can be at higher risk for bleeding or clotting while taking Heparin compared to other anticoagulants.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • Using low doses (81mg) of Aspirin every day can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, but it isn't good for everyone. Only take Aspirin daily if your doctor recommends it.
  • Higher Aspirin doses can be used to treat occasional pain, swelling, and fever. Using ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead can lower your risk of serious bleeding.
  • Take with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Don't use for kids younger than 18 years old.
  • Stop taking this right away and tell your doctor if you have ringing in your ears, unusual bleeding, or nausea or vomiting that doesn't go away.
  • Make sure to change where you inject Heparin every time.
  • Don't take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications without talking to your doctor first.
  • You will have to do regular blood draws or labs to make sure that Heparin is working for you.
Learn more
More about AspirinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about HeparinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert