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Low-dose aspirin and Reye syndrome

     I am taking low-dose aspirin during my pregnancy because 1) I had a miscarriage prior to my first daughter and then couldn't get pregnant until taking the aspirin (as recommended by a fertility specialist) and 2) occasionally I have readings of slightly high blood pressure (140/80) (this existed prior to the pregnancy).  I took the low-dose aspirin through week 40 of my pregnancy with my first daughter.

     I received the H1N1 vaccine yesterday and was asked a question about aspirin therapy, but there was not concern because I am over 18 years of age.  However, my research on Reye syndrome indicates that it can affect adults as well.  Does this aspirin therapy increase the risks of Reye syndrome to either me or the baby after either a vaccination or a viral illness (which I will surely get due to my daughter being in preschool), and if so, do the risks outweigh any benefits of the low-dose aspirin regimen?

      Thanks very much.
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It is true that Reye's can strike at any age, although it is more common in children.  The good news is that it is exceedingly rare in anyone--I have never seen a case in 20 years, although I work with a mostly adult population, and a pediatrician would have a different experience.  The BAD news is that Reye's syndrome can occur even in patients who don't take aspirin or other salicylates--it can follow a viral illness even in someone who is not taking aspirin.
Only you can decide what is an exceptable risk to you, but, your risk of miscarriage or pre-eclampsia by far and away exceeds the risk of Reye's.  HOWEVER it is also controversial how much aspirin reduces the risk of these problems.
Be sure to ask your own doctor these questions too!
If you were my patient, I would probably encourage you to continue the aspirin, but would also understand if you wished to stop.
Good luck!
Dr B
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