Can taking aspirin contribute to nose bleeds?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Does taking aspirin have anything to do with a nose bleed? The man is 83 yrs old.

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Aspirin has an antiplatelet effect, where it inhibits the platlets in the blood vessels from forming clots. While this is helpful with people who have heart disease or strokes, it can cause bleeding as a side effect. So, yes, the aspirin can contribute to nosebleeds. I would let his healthcare provider know what is happening. He may just have a dry nose, which is bleeding more easily from the aspirin, but they may want to check it out.