Aspirin - Uses & Side Effects

Aspirin is a salicylate. It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation.

Aspirin is used to treat pain and reduce fever or inflammation. It is sometimes used to treat or prevent heart attacks, strokes, and chest pain (angina).

Aspirin should be used for cardiovascular conditions only under the supervision of a doctor.

What should you know before taking aspirin?

Do not give this medicine to a child or teenager with a fever, flu symptoms, or chicken pox. Aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition in children.

You should not use aspirin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • A recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding;
  • A bleeding disorder such as hemophilia; or
  • If you have ever had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Orudis, Indocin, Lodine, Voltaren, Toradol, Mobic, Relafen, Feldene, and others.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Asthma or seasonal allergies;
  • Stomach ulcers;
  • Liver disease;
  • Kidney disease;
  • A bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
  • Gout; or
  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure.

Taking aspirin during late pregnancy may cause bleeding in the mother or the baby during delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Aspirin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

What should you avoid while taking aspirin?

You should avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking aspirin. Heavy drinking can increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

If you are taking this medicine to prevent heart attack or stroke, you should avoid also taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Ibuprofen may make this medicine less effective. If you must use both medications, take the ibuprofen at least 8 hours before or 30 minutes after you take the aspirin (non-enteric coated form).

In addition, you should ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or pain medication. Many medicines available over the counter contain aspirin or an NSAID. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen, or an NSAID.

Side effects

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Ringing in your ears, confusion, hallucinations, rapid breathing, seizure (convulsions);
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
  • Bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • Fever lasting longer than 3 days; or
  • Swelling, or pain lasting longer than 10 days.

Common aspirin side effects may include:

  • Upset stomach, heartburn;
  • Drowsiness; or
  • Mild headache.

What other drugs will affect aspirin

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use aspirin if you are also using any of the following drugs:

  • A blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven), or other medication used to prevent blood clots; or
  • Other salicylates such as Nuprin Backache Caplet, Kaopectate, KneeRelief, Pamprin Cramp Formula, Pepto-Bismol, Tricosal, Trilisate, and others.

Keyword: aspirin

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.