Brand names: Genuine Bayer, Halfprin, Aspirin, Empirin, Ecotrin
Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory pain medication (analgesic) that is used to relieve headaches, toothaches, and minor aches and pains, and to reduce fever. It also temporarily relieves the minor aches and pains of arthritis, muscle aches, colds, flu, and menstrual discomfort. In some patients, a small daily dose of aspirin may be used to ensure sufficient blood flow to the brain and prevent stroke. Aspirin may also be taken to decrease recurrence of a heart attack or other heart problems.
Aspirin should not be used during the last 3 months of pregnancy unless specifically prescribed by a doctor. It may cause problems in the unborn child or complications during delivery.
Do not take more than the recommended dose.
Do not use aspirin if it has a strong, vinegar-like odor.
If aspirin upsets your stomach, use of a coated or buffered brand may reduce the problem.
Do not chew or crush sustained-release brands, such as Bayer time-release aspirin, or pills coated to delay breakdown of the drug, such as Ecotrin. To make them easier to swallow, take them with a full glass of water.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using aspirin.
Do not take aspirin if you are allergic to it, if you have asthma, ulcers or ulcer symptoms, or if you are taking a medication that affects the clotting of your blood, unless specifically told to do so by your doctor.
Aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers for flu symptoms or chickenpox. Aspirin has been associated with the development of Reye's syndrome, a dangerous disorder characterized by disorientation, and lethargy leading to coma.
If you have a continuous or high fever, or a severe or persistent sore throat, especially with a high fever, vomiting and nausea, consult your doctor. It could indicate a more serious illness.
If pain persists for more than 10 days or if redness or swelling appears at the site of inflammation, consult your doctor immediately.
If you experience ringing in the ears, hearing loss, upset stomach, or dizziness, consult your doctor before taking more aspirin.
Check with your doctor before giving aspirin for arthritis or rheumatism to a child under 12.
If aspirin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining aspirin with the following:AcetazolamideACE-inhibitor-type blood pressure medications such as captoprilAnti-gout medications such as allopurinolArthritis medications such as ibuprofen and indomethacinBlood thinners such as warfarin sodiumCertain diuretics such as furosemideDiabetes medications such as glyburideDiltiazemDipyridamoleInsulinSeizure medications such as valproic acidSteroids such as prednisone
The use of aspirin during pregnancy should be discussed with your doctor. Aspirin should not be used during the last 3 months of pregnancy unless specifically indicated by your doctor. It may cause problems in the fetus and complications during delivery. Aspirin may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. Ask your doctor whether it is safe to take aspirin while you are breastfeeding.
Treatment of Minor Pain and Fever
The usual dose is 1 or 2 tablets every 3 to 4 hours up to 6 times a day.
Prevention of Stroke
The usual dose is 1 tablet 4 times daily or 2 tablets 2 times a day.
Prevention of Heart Attack
The usual dose is 1 tablet daily. Your physician may suggest that you take a larger dose, however. If you use Halfprin low-strength tablets (162 milligrams), adjust dosage accordingly.
Consult your doctor.
Any medication used in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect symptoms of an aspirin overdose, seek medical treatment immediately.