(HealthDay News) — Aspirin can prevent heart attacks and strokes by lowering the clotting action of the blood’s platelets.

However, preventing blood from clotting can also cause stomach or brain bleeding, kidney failure and other kinds of strokes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

The decision to start daily aspirin therapy is safest when made in consultation with a physician, says the FDA. People who are already using a blood-thinning medication should talk to a doctor before using aspirin.