Aspirin (Oral)

Aspirin is known as a salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat illnesses or ailments with idiosyncrasies involving pain or swelling.

Overview

Aspirin works to reduce the inflammation or buildup of fluid in our tissues producing pain and swelling. If you are taking this as a prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication, it works best when taken at the first signs of pain or swelling, rather than waiting for the condition to get worse.

In some cases, aspirin is used to treat individuals with coronary artery disease, lowering the risk of heart attack, stroke or patients experiencing severe chest pain. In other situations, aspirin is used to prevent blood clots helping to further reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. Low doses are prescribed as a blood thinner for individuals having bypass surgery, carotid endarterectomy, and coronary stent.

Over the years, many individuals have used aspirin as a self-medication for aches and pain — it's no surprise to find a container sitting in most home cabinets. Like all medications, there are precautions – for example, if you take aspirin for more than five days there may be an underlying health condition that needs medical attention. If you experience symptoms such as slurred speech, vision changes or the aches persist or worsen followed by fever or vomiting – it's time to call the doctor.

Always talk to a health professional before administering aspirin in any dose to a child.

Condition(s) Treated

  • Joint damage with pain or loss of function
  • Severe chest pain
  • Joint disease
  • Fever
  • Blood clots
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pain prevention
  • Heart attack and prevention
  • Acute syndrome of the heart
  • Body pains from head to toe
  • Stroke
  • Inflammation

Type of Medicine

  • NSAID Painkiller

Side Effects

Aspirin has helped to ease minor to major body pains and assist with blood flow to the heart, but it's not for everyone. Most patients DO NOT experience serious side effects, if your doctor has prescribed a daily aspirin therapy due to health disorders and you suddenly stop, your body could set off alerts causing unhealthy or serious reactions.

Those with allergies to aspirin may experience some of these reactions:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Slurred speech

There are sensitivities to aspirin, resulting in upset stomachs or heartburn usually lasting a short period. However, if the effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist. Aspirin rarely causes serious bleeding in the stomach, intestine or other areas of our body, yet some experience severe effects:

  • Bruising
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing eyes or skin

Your doctor needs to know about these effects to prevent initiating more serious health ailments. Before you take aspirin, be sure your doctor is updated on your past reactions to aspirin, other pain relievers or fever reducers that have affected your health. Many of the OTC NSAIDs contain inactive ingredients producing allergy responses.

Considerations should be taken when using aspirin for treating medical conditions with the existing disorders:

  • Hemophilia
  • Vitamin K deficiency
  • Low platelet count
  • Aspirin-sensitive asthma
  • Enzyme deficiencies
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

Lifestyle Effects

Daily use of alcohol or tobacco combined with aspirin may increase the risks and worsen the side effects. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, you need to talk with your doctor before using this medication, especially in the final term as the side effects could harm the unborn infant or cause problems during delivery.

  • Breastfeeding will pass on the elements of aspirin to the infant – avoid this drug in all cases before talking with your doctor.

Age Groups

Children and teenagers with chicken pox, flu, certain vaccinations or unknown illnesses should not be administered aspirin. Children are susceptible to rare diseases – if your child has taken aspirin and you notice nausea or vomiting contact your doctor or pharmacist at once.

Older adults are more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, primarily due to existing health ailments and the natural process of aging. Most common effects are stomach bleeding and ulcers.

Side effects at any age

Existing conditions trigger side effects – if any of these effects persist, you need to contact your doctor. All of these affect your health and if left untreated, or inaccurately monitored, can cause serious consequences to your health. Here's a lengthy list of the known side effects of aspirin:

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Bleeding, bruising
  • Bloody, cloudy or dark urine
  • Burning sensation
  • Change in consciousness
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Cramping
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Convulsions
  • Change in frequency or volume of urine
  • Change in breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness, fainting
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Change in thirst or appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Muscle cramping and weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Nervousness
  • Rash
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Changes in skin appearance
  • Swelling

Some side effects are inconsistent, but may still need some medical attention to control the occurrence. In most cases, when monitored with a doctor's observation, our body adjusts with the help of medicine like aspirin. Sometimes, these side effects can be prevented with the advice of your doctor. If you are experiencing any of these and find them bothersome, it may be time to talk with your doctor.

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive burping
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

Dosage

If you have been diagnosed with a health condition requiring treatment of aspirin, it's important that you adhere to your doctor's instructions. Your doctor will provide the exact measure and frequency for your current disorder. At no time should you take it upon yourself to change the dosage or the frequency even if the level of pain increases. Contact your doctor in this event.

Treatment dosage will vary depending on the individual's health, age and sensitives to aspirin. If you have experienced a heart attack or you are currently taking other blood thinners, ensure you see your doctor before starting any treatment. According to medical organizations, these adult doses are effective.

  • Low dose is 75 milligrams
  • Average prescription dose is 81 milligrams
  • Regular strength tablet is 325 milligrams

Most adults are familiar with the capsule or tablet form of aspirin. Sometimes they are coated to help ease swallowing or slow down the digestive process to prevent upset stomachs or intestinal irritations. There are different forms available:

  • Capsule
  • Capsule, Extended-release
  • Tablet
  • Tablet, Enteric coated
  • Tablet, Extended-release
  • Tablet, Chewable
  • Tablet, Effervescent

Taking Aspirin

Aspirin is taken orally with a full glass of water – follow the directions on the product package or as directed by your doctor. Make sure you are not lying down when taking aspirin if you are ill; prop yourself up as it helps to move the medicine through your body. Ask your doctor, it may help to take aspirin with milk or food.

  • Swallow enteric-coated and extended-time tablets or capsules whole
  • DO NOT crush or chew enteric-coated tablets – it may upset your stomach
  • DO NOT crush or chew extended-release tablets or capsules – it interferes with the time release and may increase the effects

Dosage and duration of treatment vary, depending on the medical condition and your response to this form of treatment. There may also be other factors involved, from diets to existing ailments, allergies or certain activities. There are daily limit recommendations provided on the product package – your doctor will advise of the limitations with the goal of using the minimum effective dose. If you have prescription medicines, talk with your doctor before adding self-medication of supplements, herbal remedies or certain foods.

  • Take aspirin at the first signs of pain to manage the level of pain
  • If pain worsens or lasts longer than three days – contact your doctor
  • Any self-treatment lasting longer than seven days and there may be a more serious problem
  • DO NOT take aspirin before or after consuming alcohol

Since each of us responds individually, the dose and frequency may vary between patients. If you miss a dose – continue with the next scheduled dose and contact your doctor. DO NOT double dose. For any reason, if you overdose and experience serious life-threatening symptoms, such as breathing difficulties, call for emergency help.

Before starting any form of aspirin treatment, be sure to share your medical history with your doctor. They will make the adjustment in dosage for your health and recovery of the condition. Information they should know includes:

  • Allergies
  • Pediatric information
  • Medical history
  • Genetic data

Interactions

Drug interactions can change medications effects, results and risks. In some circumstances, certain medicines work together well to heal, manage or cure the condition – but there are other situations where two different medicines may interact with each other and cause serious effects. Your doctor may change the dosage of each medicine to balance the dosage.

As a blood thinner, combined unknowingly with other medicines or herbal supplements listed, medical complications can occur. These supplements include:

  • Mifepristone
  • Acetazolamide
  • Warfarin
  • Heparin
  • Corticosteroids
  • Prednisone
  • Methotrexate
  • Valproic Acid
  • Ginkgo Biloba

It is not recommended to use aspirin with any of these medicines. Your doctor may change the dose or medicine that works best for your condition.

  • Defibrotide
  • Dichlorphenamide
  • Influenza Virus Vaccine
  • Ketorolac
  • Varicella Virus Vaccine

In some cases, using a combination of medicines is necessary, even though it's not recommended. Talk with your doctor to understand how the determination of treatment is decided. If you look carefully at the names on this list, you'll notice some share similarities – a sign they also share similar compounds that can interact with other drugs or change treatment effects due to the chemical quantities.

  • Acarbose
  • Acebutolol
  • Aceclofenac
  • Acemetacin
  • Alipogene Tiparvovec
  • Alteplase, Recombinant
  • Amiloride
  • Amineptine
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amitriptylinoxide
  • Amoxapine
  • Amtolmetin Guacil
  • Anagrelide
  • Anisindione
  • Apixaban
  • Argatroban
  • Atenolol
  • Bendroflumethiazide
  • Benzthiazide
  • Beta Glucan
  • Betamethasone
  • Betaxolol
  • Bisoprolol
  • Bivalirudin
  • Bromfenac
  • Bufexamac
  • Bumetanide
  • Captopril
  • Carteolol
  • Carvedilol
  • Celecoxib
  • Celiprolol
  • Chlorothiazide
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Chlorthalidone
  • Choline Salicylate
  • Cilostazol
  • Citalopram
  • Clomipramine
  • Clonixin
  • Clopamide
  • Clopidogrel
  • Cortisone
  • Cyclopenthiazide
  • Cyclosporine
  • Dabigatran Etexilate
  • Danaparoid
  • Delapril
  • Desipramine
  • Desirudin
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dexibuprofen
  • Dexketoprofen
  • Diazoxide
  • Dibenzepin
  • Diclofenac
  • Dicumarol
  • Diflunisal
  • Digoxin
  • Dipyrone
  • Dothiepin
  • Doxepin
  • Droxicam
  • Duloxetine
  • Edoxaban
  • Enalapril Maleate
  • Enalaprilat
  • Eplerenone
  • Eptifibatide
  • Escitalopram
  • Esmolol
  • Ethacrynic Acid
  • Etodolac
  • Etofenamate
  • Etoricoxib
  • Felbinac
  • Fenoprofen
  • Fepradinol
  • Feprazone
  • Feverfew
  • Floctafenine
  • Flufenamic Acid
  • Fluoxetine
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Fondaparinux
  • Furosemide
  • Glimepiride
  • Glipizide
  • Glyburide
  • Gossypol
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Hydroflumethiazide
  • Ibuprofen
  • Imidapril
  • Imipramine
  • Indapamide
  • Indomethacin
  • Ketoprofen
  • Labetalol
  • Lepirudin
  • Levobunolol
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Lisinopril
  • Lithium
  • Lofepramine
  • Lornoxicam
  • Loxoprofen
  • Lumiracoxib
  • Meclofenamate
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • Melitracen
  • Meloxicam
  • Metformin
  • Methyclothiazide
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Metipranolol
  • Metolazone
  • Metoprolol
  • Milnacipran
  • Morniflumate
  • Nabumetone
  • Nadolol
  • Naproxen
  • Nateglinide
  • Nebivolol
  • Nefazodone
  • Nepafenac
  • Niflumic Acid
  • Nimesulide
  • Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Nortriptyline
  • Opipramol
  • Oxaprozin
  • Oxprenolol
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Paramethasone
  • Parecoxib
  • Paroxetine
  • Pemetrexed
  • Penbutolol
  • Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium
  • Pentoxifylline
  • Phenindione
  • Phenprocoumon
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Piketoprofen
  • Pindolol
  • Piracetam
  • Piroxicam
  • Polythiazide
  • Practolol
  • Pralatrexate
  • Pranoprofen
  • Prasugrel
  • Prednisolone
  • Probenecid
  • Proglumetacin
  • Propranolol
  • Propyphenazone
  • Proquazone
  • Protein C
  • Protriptyline
  • Repaglinide
  • Reteplase, Recombinant
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Rofecoxib
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Salsalate
  • Sertraline
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Sotalol
  • Spironolactone
  • Streptokinase
  • Sulindac
  • Tacrolimus
  • Tamarind
  • Temocapril
  • Tenecteplase
  • Tenoxicam
  • Tianeptine
  • Tiaprofenic Acid
  • Ticagrelor
  • Ticlopidine
  • Timolol
  • Tirofiban
  • Tolazamide
  • Tolbutamide
  • Tolfenamic Acid
  • Tolmetin
  • Torsemide
  • Treprostinil
  • Triamcinolone
  • Triamterene
  • Trichlormethiazide
  • Trimipramine
  • Valdecoxib
  • Venlafaxine
  • Vilazodone
  • Vortioxetine
  • Xipamide

Warnings

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have posted warnings about the use of aspirin as a prescription or self-treatment connected to the risk of serious bleeding. Many OTC products contain aspirin, such as antacids to treat heartburn or upset stomachs and acid indigestion.

Serious medical treatments using aspirin will elevate the quantity of the drug in your bloodstream, triggering harmful effects to your health. It is important that you talk with your doctor to see if the medicines you now take contain aspirin to prevent unwanted illnesses.

You should check all labels on prescription and non-prescription medicines used for pain relievers or fever reducers. Some NSAIDs are better known by name; ibuprofen is very common as an OTC drug. Some cold products also contain aspirin or similar compounds that may be harmful.

  • More importantly, these compounds may interfere with readings or results of lab tests.
  • DO NOT take other medicines unless your doctor has approved. This includes herbal, supplements, OTC and other prescription medicines.

Storage

All medicines should be stored in an airtight container– at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

  • Keep it out of reach of children and pets
  • Discard outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed
  • DO NOT flush any of your medications – contact your pharmacists, doctor or local health facility for proper disposal of medications no longer being used

Summary

Aspirin is more commonly used as a painkiller in both prescription and OTC forms. Because it is a known NSAID, there are several drugs and self-medications with similar contents to aspirin – each may have serious health consequences for some individuals when taken together.

In any case, don't stop taking any medications or your current prescriptions under a doctor's supervision. Provide your doctor with as much information as possible to make sure you experience the correct drug interactions for you.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
December 25, 2017
Last Updated:
April 04, 2018
Content Source: