Compare Aspirin vs. Heparin

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

Aspirin

Over-the-counter

Heparin

Prescription only
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.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 533 reviewsforAspirin
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.

Upsides
  • 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
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Injection
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
533 reviews so far
76%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
6%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Aspirin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Heparin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Brain damage or death from Reye's Syndrome
    • Children 18 years or younger
    • Children recovering from viral infections
  • Stomach bleeding
    • 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
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Asthma
    • Rhinitis
    • Nasal polyps
    • Aspirin allergy
    • NSAID allergy
  • Harm to unborn babies
    • Women of childbearing age
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Unusual bleeding
    • History of bleeding problems
    • Severe high blood pressure
    • Older age
  • Clotting problems
    • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
See more detailed risks and warnings