What is Aspirin?
Aspirin is a commonly used medication for relieving minor aches, pains, and fevers. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that contains salicylate, a natural ingredient found in plants like myrtle and willow tree. In some cases, doctors may prescribe aspirin to prevent stroke, heart attacks, and chest pain.
Aspirin can be buyd without a prescription and is effective in relieving headaches, reducing fever, and reducing swelling. Regularly taking aspirin can also lower the risk of cardiovascular events for individuals at high risk of heart attack or stroke. After a heart attack, doctors often administer aspirin immediately to prevent further damage to heart tissue and the formation of blood clots.
Aspirin should not be used by individuals with bleeding symptoms such as hemophilia or a recent history of intestinal or stomach bleeding. It should also be avoided by those who are allergic to NSAIDs like Orudis, Indocin, Lodine, Voltaren, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Toradol, Mobic, Relafen, Feldene, and others. Additionally, aspirin should not be given to children to treat chickenpox, fever, or flu symptoms as it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a severe and potentially fatal condition in children.
While aspirin can effectively treat various symptoms such as pain relief, swelling reduction, and management of certain conditions, it is not recommended for individuals under 18 years old due to the increased risk of Reye’s syndrome, which can lead to permanent brain injury or death. However, in exceptional cases such as Kawasaki disease or to prevent blood clots after heart surgery, doctors may prescribe aspirin to children under their supervision.
What to know before taking aspirin?
Do not take 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 experienced an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID. It is important to inform your therapist 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.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may take a low-dose of aspirin under a doctor’s guidance. High-dose aspirin is generally not prescribed during pregnancy. Individuals with allergies to aspirin or other NSAIDs should avoid these medications.
Aspirin should not be administered during a stroke as not all strokes are caused by blood clots, and in some cases, aspirin can worsen the condition. Individuals who consume alcohol daily or are undergoing surgical or dental treatment should consult a doctor before using aspirin. It is also important to inform your physician if you frequently experience an upset stomach, heartburn, or stomach pain, or if you have a history of anemia, ulcers, bleeding problems, liver disease, or kidney disease.
How to take aspirin?
Take aspirin exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your physician. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or use it for longer than necessary. If administering aspirin to a child, always follow the directions on the medication label.
If aspirin upsets your stomach, take it with food. Chewable pills should be chewed before swallowing, while enteric-coated or extended-release pills should be swallowed whole without chewing, breaking, crushing, or opening them. If you require surgery, inform the surgeon beforehand that you are taking aspirin as you may need to temporarily discontinue its use. Do not use aspirin if it has a strong vinegar odor as it may no longer be effective. Store aspirin at room temperature away from heat and moisture.
Aspirin can be taken with food, and the dosage varies depending on the purpose of use:
- The usual dosage for mild to moderate pain is 350mg or 650mg every four to six hours.
- For rheumatoid arthritis, the dosage ranges from 500mg every four to six hours to 1950mg twice daily.
- In case of heart attack symptoms, chewing 160mg to 325mg of non-enteric coated aspirin immediately is recommended.
- For preventing heart attacks, daily dosages of 75mg, 81mg, 162mg, or 325mg are used.
- To prevent another stroke, a daily dosage of