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Why it's used

Aspirin is used to reduce fever. This medication works by deactivating the natural enzyme (Cyclooxygenase-1) which induces fever. Aspirin is also used to reduce mild to moderate pain (such as from a headache, menstrual periods, cold, toothache, muscle ache). It is also used to relieve pain associated with inflammation of joints (rheumatoid arthritis) and long-lasting degeneration of joints (osteoarthritis). Aspirin is also used to reduce the risk of blockage of blood flow to heart muscles (myocardial infarction) in patients who have a history of heart disease. This medication works by inhibiting the production of natural chemicals (prostaglandins and thromboxane) which forms the blood clot in blood vessels. This medication helps by making blood flowing smoothly throughout your body. Aspirin is also used to reduce the risk of brain damage due to the blockage in blood supply to the brain (stroke) in patients who have a history of stroke associated symptoms.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Aspirin belongs to a class of medicines called Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Medication from the same drug class have a similar method of working. Medication from the same class are often used to treat similar conditions. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce fever, decrease pain, prevent clotting of blood, and reduce inflammation (when used in higher doses).

How to use

Read the directions on the product label, patient information leaflet, or medication guide provided by the manufacturer/pharmacist before starting to use Aspirin. If you have any questions related to this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Use this medicine as per the prescription.
The maximum adult dosage of Aspirin is 3600 mg in a day. This medicine is not known to be habit-forming.
This product should not be used in children. The safety and effectiveness of this medicine in children have not been proved.
Pain medications work best if they are used as soon as you feel any signs of pain. Aspirin may not work well if you delay using it until the symptoms have worsened.
Talk to your doctor if your condition worsens. Tell your doctor if you have stomach bleeding (or symptoms such as fainting, vomiting blood, black or bloody stools, or stomach pain that does not go away), you are suffering from unusual excessive bleeding, you have ringing in your ears or hearing loss, your fever lasts more than 3 days, and your pain lasts more than 10 days.
The dosage of Aspirin depends on the patient's age, medical condition(s), the health of the patient's liver, the state of kidneys, prescription medicines in use, non-prescription or OTC medicines in use, and herbal supplements consumed. This medicine should be used on an as-needed basis. Aspirin may be prescribed for the long-term to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in patients with a history of these conditions. If you have been prescribed this medicine for the long-term, it is recommended that you use this medicine at the same time every day.
When using the delayed-release form of this medicine, do not crush or chew the medication, unless indicated on the package. Crushing or chewing of the medication can result in unpleasant taste resulting in non-adherence to the medication schedule. Crushing or chewing can also release all of the medicine at once, resulting in a decrease of effectiveness and a possible increase in side-effects.
To decrease the possibility of side-effects, you might be recommended to use the extended-release form of this medicine. The extended-release medication help in maintaining a steady level of the dose in your body for a longer period of time. Do not crush or chew the medication, unless indicated on the package.
When using the effervescent form of this medicine, dissolve the prescribed number of tablets in water or the solution indicated on the medication. After the tablets are fully dissolved, drink the solution right away. Do not consume the medicine long after it has been dissolved in water.
When using the chewable tablet form of this medicine, make sure your chew the medicine before you swallow it.
Avoid the consumption of alcohol with Aspirin.
You should store Aspirin at 25°C (77°F), and away from moisture.
Medicines may be prescribed for uses other than those listed in a medication guide. Do not use Aspirin for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Aspirin to other people who might have the same conditions or symptoms that you have. Self-medication may harm them.

How to take Aspirin

The dosage and frequency of using Aspirin will depend on the following factors:
  • age of the patient
  • patient's medical condition
  • the health of the patient's liver
  • the state of kidneys
  • prescription medicines being used
  • non-prescription or OTC medicines being used
  • herbal supplements being used

Aspirin Dosage

Dosage for pain and fever

Adult
  • Recommended: 325-650 mg every 4 hours
  • Maximum: 3900 mg per day

Dosage for short-term chest pain induced by the decreased blood supply to blood vessels in the heart (stable angina pectoris)

Adult
  • Recommended: 75-160 mg once daily

Dosage for unexpected chest pain at rest (unstable angina pectoris)

Adult
  • Recommended: 75-160 mg once daily

Dosage for secondary prevention of loss of blood flow in the brain, spinal cord or retina (transient ischemic attacks) and damage to the brain due to the blockage of blood supply to the brain (ischemic cerebrovascular accidents)

Adult
  • Recommended: 75-325 mg once daily

Dosage for heart attack (acute myocardial infarction)

Adult
  • Recommended: 150-450 mg as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms

Dosage for prevention of redirection of blood flow (graft occlusion) after improvement of blood flow to the heart (coronary artery bypass grafting)

Adult
  • Recommended: 75-160 mg once daily

Dosage for secondary prevention of heart attack (myocardial infarction)

Adult
  • Recommended: 75-160 mg once daily

Minimum Age

16 years

Overdose

What to do if you overdose on Aspirin
If you have taken more than the recommended dose of Aspirin, get medical advice immediately. Hospitalization may be required for a toxic overdose. If the overdose has happened within the last 1 hour, the toxic effect can be reduced by taking activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has small, low-volume pores. These pores help trap chemicals as in the case of poisoning. In the case of moderate intoxication, vomiting, cleaning out the contents of the stomach (gastric lavage), and using a laxative (sodium sulfate) may help to reduce the toxic effects.
Symptoms of an overdose of Aspirin
If you use too much of this medicine, it could lead to dangerous levels of the drug in your body. In such cases, symptoms of overdose may include:
If you think you have overdosed on Aspirin, call a poison control center immediately. If residing in the US, call at 1-800-222-1222. For all the other countries, you can look up the poison control center information from the Poison Center Finder at TabletWise.com.

Missed Dose

A missed dose should be taken as soon as you remember it. However, if the time for the next dose is almost there, then the missed dose should be skipped, and the regular dosing schedule should be continued. Avoid taking a repeated dose to make up for a missed one.

Forms

Enteric coated tablets
Strength: 81 mg, 162 mg, 325 mg, 500 mg, 650 mg, and 975 mg
Chewable tablets
Strength: 81 mg
Extended-release tablets
Strength: 800 mg
Film-coated tablets
Strength: 81 mg, 325 mg, 500 mg
Suppositories
Strength: 60 mg, 120 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg
Extended-release capsule
Strength: 162.5 mg
Chewing gum
Strength: 227 mg

Special Instructions

Extended-release capsule
Do not take capsules 2 hours before or 1 hour after consuming alcohol.
Suppository
Do not stand up for at least 15 minutes after insertion of suppositories.

Expired Medication

Taking a single dose of expired Aspirin is unlikely to produce a side-effect. However, please discuss with your primary health provider or pharmacist, if you feel unwell or sick. An expired medicine may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use an expired drug. If you have a chronic illness that requires taking medicine constantly such as heart condition, seizures, and life-threatening allergies, you are much safer by always keeping a fresh supply of unexpired medications.

Safe Disposal of Medication

  • If there are disposal instructions on the package, please follow the instructions.
  • If there are medicine take-back programs in your country, you should contact the respective authority to arrange for the disposal of the medicine. For example, in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Administration periodically hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events.
  • If there are no take-back programs, mix the medicine with dirt and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Throw the plastic bag in your household trash. Separately, remove all personal information including the prescription label from the medicine packaging and then dispose off the container.
  • If specifically indicated on the medicine package that it needs to be flushed down the toilet when no longer needed, perform the required step.

Precautions while using Aspirin

Before you use Aspirin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it.
Before you use Aspirin, tell your doctor of your medical history including hypersensitivity to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), stomach ulcer, history of indigestion, nasal polyps (non-cancerous painless growth inside the nose) associated with asthma, blood clotting disorder, severe liver disease, severe kidney disease, or severe heart failure. Patients using Aspirin may develop difficulty in breathing, a runny nose, itchy skin or swelling. Before having any surgery when using Aspirin, tell your doctor and dentist about all the medicinal products you use including prescription and non-prescription medicines, and any herbal supplements.
Avoid the consumption of alcohol with Aspirin. Consumption of alcohol increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Consult with your doctor on the use of Aspirin during pregnancy. Using this medication during pregnancy may harm an unborn baby. Also, babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the third trimester of pregnancy may rarely develop symptoms such as low birth weight, bleeding inside the skull (intracranial hemorrhage) and loss of the baby (stillbirth). Aspirin is not safe for use in women who are breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, discuss with your doctor if you should either discontinue breastfeeding or stop using this medicine while breastfeeding. This medicine may pass into breast milk. Consult with your doctor on the use of Aspirin, if you are trying to conceive.
This medicine can cause stomach bleeding. The use of alcohol/tobacco with Aspirin may increase your stomach bleeding risk. If you drink alcohol or smoke regularly, please discuss with your doctor.
Aspirin may cause an increased risk of side-effects in pediatric (younger, or adolescent) patients.
Aspirin may increase side-effects in older (geriatric) patients. Elderly patients may see an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Aspirin Side-effects

Indigestion (dyspepsia), and increased bleeding tendency may occur with the use of Aspirin.
Infrequently or rarely, Aspirin can cause viral infection of the nose and throat (rhinitis), difficulty in breathing (dyspnoea), and skin rash (urticaria).
Using Aspirin may cause Lyell's syndrome. The symptoms may include severe skin reactions.
Using Aspirin may cause loss of hearing.
Using Aspirin may cause severe gastrointestinal hemorrhage (bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract).
Aspirin may cause a severe side-effect. It may cause an episodes of fast heartbeat (tachycardia).
Your doctor has prescribed Aspirin because they judge that the benefit is greater than the risk posed by side effects. Many people using this medicine do not have serious side effects. This page does not list all possible side effects of Aspirin.
If you notice other side effects not listed above, contact your doctor for medical advice. You may also report side effects to your local food and drug administration authority. You can look up the drug authority contact information from the Drug Authority Finder at TabletWise.com.

Warnings

Active peptic ulcer disease

Patients with swelling in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum are at risk when using this medicine. Such patients may develop a risk of gastric ulceration and gastrointestinal bleeding. Avoid the use of Aspirin in patients with a history of gastric or duodenal ulcer.

Children and adolescents who are recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms

These patients are at an increased risk when using this medicine. Such patients may develop changes in behavior with symptoms of nausea and vomiting and further chances of development of the swelling in the brain and liver (Reye's syndrome). Consult with your physician before using Aspirin in such patients.

Patients undergoing anticoagulants and antiplatelet drug therapy

Patients undergoing anticoagulants and antiplatelet drug therapy are at an increased risk when using this medicine. Such patients have an increased risk of bleeding when using this medicine. Such patients should avoid using this medicine when undergoing therapy with anticoagulants or antiplatelet drug.

Patients with heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)

These patients are at an increased risk when using this medicine.

Patients with rare hereditary problems of the lactase enzyme deficiency in the small intestine (Lapp lactase deficiency)

Such patients are at an increased risk when using this medicine.

Children aged under 16 years with Reye's syndrome

This age group with Reye's syndrome is at an increased risk when using this medicine. Use this medication only when the expected benefits outweigh the risks.

Patients who are allergic to Aspirin

This medication may lead to an increased risk of allergic conditions. Use of this medication in such patients may lead to the development of symptoms like facial swelling and skin rashes.

Interactions with Aspirin

Interactions change the working of medicines and can also increase the risk of side effects or adverse reactions. Provide your doctor and pharmacist with a list of all prescription/nonprescription/herbal medicine that you use. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without consulting with your doctor. This page does not contain all the possible interactions of Aspirin.
Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medication along with methotrexate, a drug which is used to treat cancer. This medicine inhibits the excretion of methotrexate into the urine by kidneys. It causes a decrease in the production of blood cells responsible for providing immunity (bone marrow toxicity). Patients should not take Aspirin and methotrexate in combination.
Aspirin interacts with anticonvulsants (such as phenytoin, valproic acid), which are used to treat abnormal brain activity (epilepsy). Using these medicines simultaneously decreases phenytoin concentration and increased serum valproic acid levels. Patients should take necessary precautions while taking both drugs in combination.
There may be an interaction of Aspirin with anticoagulants, medicines that prevent the formation of blood clots. This drug class increases the risk of bleeding. Patients should take necessary precautions while taking both drugs in combination.
Aspirin may interact with Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), medicines that help to reduce fever and decrease pain. This medication can interfere with the normal blood clotting process (anti-platelet effect) of low-dose aspirin and results in increased risk of bleeding. Take this medication at least 8 hours after taking a dosage of other NSAIDs (such as Ibuprofen).
Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medication along with renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors, which are used in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). Taking these medicines together may result in kidney function failure. Monitoring of kidney function is required while using this combination.
Aspirin may interact with uricosuric agents (probenecid), which are used in the management of pain, redness, hot, and swollen joints (gout). This medicine reverses the effect of probenecid. Patients should avoid using both drugs in combination.
There may be an interaction of Aspirin with mifepristone, which is used to abort an early pregnancy. Avoid the use of Aspirin until 8-12 days after taking mifepristone.
Aspirin interacts with vancomycin, which is used to treat bacterial infections. Using both medicines together may increase the chances for harmful effects to ear (ototoxicity) which may lead to loss of hearing. Patients should take necessary precautions while taking both drugs in combination.
Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medication along with antidiabetics (sulphonylureas), which are used to treat high blood sugar levels. This medicine increases the blood sugar lowering effect (hypoglycaemic) of sulphonylureas. Patients should take necessary precautions while taking both drugs in combination.
Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medication along with urine alkalizer drugs (antacids, citrates), which are used to prevent painful swelling and redness of the joints (gout) and kidney stones. Intake of Aspirin with antacids and citrates increases the excretion of aspirin.

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