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As a member of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) I have the opportunity to answer lab-related patient questions posted on the ASCLS Consumer Forum. This is a valuable service, first created by Dr. Susan LeClair at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, that attracts an average of 100 questions a day and employs a large team of volunteer clinical laboratory scientists.

I got in over my head on a recent question and would like to get some help from our blog participants. A patient with essential thrombocythemia has taken Anagrelide daily for several to suppress platelet production. This is successful, but Anagrelide has reduced his kidney function and his glomerular filtration rate (GFR) now hovers at 30 mL/min.

The patient also takes aspirin and Plavix to suppress platelet activitity and prevent a stroke has had repeated flares of gout, exquisitely painful and debilitating, and has discontinued the aspirin because several studies show it suppresses uric acid excretion.

He wants to know if he can take Quercetin, an over-the-counter dietary supplement in place of aspirin. Quercetin is one of the flavanoids found in red wine and other colored beverages that apparently suppresses platelet activity and protects from inflammation. There are a number of refereed publications that confirms Quercetin’s effects.

Here are my questions for the thrombosis experts who monitor our blog…

Does aspirin really inhibit uric acid excretion?
Can a patient safely discontinue aspirin but continue with Plavix?
What effect may Quercetin have on kidney function?
Can someone safely substitute Quercetin for aspirin?
I look forward to hearing from our experts in the field. Geo

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