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Aspirin

What is aspirin

Aspirin is in a class of drugs called salicylates. It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation.

Aspirin is used to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever. Aspirin is also used under medical supervision to treat and/or prevent heart attacks, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or "mini-strokes"), strokes, and angina in certain individuals.

Aspirin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about aspirin

Take aspirin with milk, food, or an antacid to lessen stomach upset. Enteric-coated aspirin is specially formulated to be gentle on your stomach. Enteric-coated aspirin can be, but does not have to be, taken with milk or food. Enteric-coated aspirin should not be taken with an antacid.

Do not break, chew, or crush the enteric-coated tablets. These have a special coating to protect your stomach. Swallow them whole.

Avoid alcohol or use it in moderation while taking aspirin. If you drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day, the risk of stomach bleeding may increase.

Who should not take aspirin

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you
- have an allergy to aspirin;
- have an allergy to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, others), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox, others), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Orudis, Oruvail), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), and others;
- have an allergy to tartrazine;
- drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day;
- have an ulcer or bleeding in your stomach;
- have liver disease;
- have kidney disease;
- have a coagulation (bleeding) disorder (e.g., hemophilia);
- have congestive heart failure;
- have fluid retention;
- have heart disease;
- have high blood pressure;
- have gout;
- have asthma; or
- have nasal polyps.

You may not be able to take aspirin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

The FDA has not formally evaluated the effects of aspirin taken during pregnancy. However, it is known that aspirin taken during pregnancy may affect an unborn baby's heart, reduce birth weight, and have other dangerous effects on the unborn baby. Do not take aspirin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Aspirin passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Do not take this medicine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not use aspirin to treat a child or teenager who has a fever, flu symptoms, or chicken pox without first talking to the child's doctor. In children younger than 18 years of age, aspirin may increase the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but often fatal condition.

How should take aspirin

Take aspirin exactly as directed by your doctor, or follow the instructions that accompany the package if you are using an over-the-counter medicine. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. This may reduce the risk of the medication becoming lodged in your esophagus or throat. Remaining upright for 15 to 30 minutes following a dose may further reduce this risk.

Take aspirin with milk, food, or an antacid to lessen stomach upset. Enteric-coated aspirin is specially formulated to be gentle on your stomach. Enteric-coated aspirin can be, but does not have to be, taken with milk or food. Enteric-coated aspirin should not be taken with an antacid.

Do not crush, chew, or break any enteric-coated forms of aspirin. These have a special coating to protect your stomach. Swallow them whole.

Do not take aspirin more often than is prescribed by your doctor or recommended on the package. If your condition does not improve within 3 to 4 days, talk to your doctor.

Be aware of the aspirin content of other prescription or over-the-counter medications to avoid taking too much aspirin.

Do not take any aspirin that smells strongly of vinegar. This smell means that the aspirin has begun to break down.

Store aspirin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

If you are taking aspirin regularly--for example, to treat arthritis--take the missed dose up to 2 hours late. If more than 2 hours have passed since the missed dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose.

If you are taking aspirin on an as-needed basis, missing a dose is not usually a problem. Take your aspirin as soon as you remember, and do not take another dose for the amount of time prescribed by your doctor or recommended on the package.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an aspirin overdose include ringing in the ears, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, seizures, rapid breathing, and fever.

Avoid while taking aspirin

Avoid taking other over-the-counter or prescription medications containing aspirin; salicylates (forms of aspirin) such as magnesium and/or choline salicylate (Magan, Doan's, Bayer Select Backache Pain Formula, Mobidin, Arthropan, Trilisate, Tricosal) and salsalate (Disalcid); and NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, others), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox, others), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Orudis, Oruvail), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), and others. Combined with aspirin, these medicines can be dangerous.

Avoid alcohol or use it with moderation while taking aspirin. If you drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day, aspirin may increase the risk of stomach bleeding.

Tell your doctor and dentist that you are taking aspirin, especially if you need to undergo a surgical procedure. Aspirin may prolong bleeding.

Possible side effects of aspirin

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking aspirin and seek medical attention or call your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- black, bloody, or tarry stools;
- nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain;
- uncontrolled fever;
- blood in your urine or vomit;
- decreased hearing or ringing in the ears;
- seizures; or
- dizziness, confusion, or hallucinations.

If you experience any of the following less serious side effects, notify your doctor:
- heartburn or indigestion,
- faint ringing in the ears,
- drowsiness, or
- headache.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect aspirin

Do not take aspirin without first talking to your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- an anticoagulant such as warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, enoxaparin (Lovenox), dalteparin (Fragmin), danaparoid (Orgaran), ardeparin (Normiflo), or tinzaparin (Innohep);
- a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, others), ketoprofen (Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail), naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Aleve), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), etodolac (Lodine), fenoprofen (Nalfon), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketorolac (Toradol), sulindac (Clinoril), or tolmetin (Tolectin); or
- another salicylate such as aspirin (Acuprin, Ecotrin, Ascriptin, Bayer, others); choline salicylate and/or magnesium salicylate (Magan, Doan's, Bayer Select Backache Pain Formula, Mobidin, Arthropan, Trilisate, Tricosal), or salsalate (Disalcid).

You may not be able to take aspirin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

If you have diabetes, moderate to large doses of aspirin may produce false urine glucose test results.

Many drugs, including those not listed here, can interact with aspirin, resulting in side effects and/or decreased effectiveness of the medications. Do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines or herbal products without first talking to your doctor during treatment with aspirin.

All prescription drugs:

A
abilify accupril accutane acetaminophen aciphex actifed actonel actos acyclovir adalat adderall adipex advair advil albuterol alesse aleve allegra allopurinol amaryl ambien amiodarone amitriptyline amoxicillin amoxil amphetamine anacin aprazolam aricept asacol aspirin atenolol ativan atorvastatin atrovent augmentin avandia avapro avastin avelox azmacort
B
baclofen
bactrim bactroban baycol benadryl bextra biaxin boniva bontril buspar buspirone
C
caduet campral camptosar capoten captopril cardizem cardura carisoprodol casodex catapress cefzil celebrex celexa cellcept cephalexin cialis cipro ciprodex clarinex claritin climara clindamycin clonazepam clonidine codeine codeprex combivent combivir concerta copaxone coreg coricidin cotrim coumadin cozaar crestor cubicin cyclobenzaprine cymbalta
D
darvocet demerol depakote desogen detrol dextromethorphan diazepam diclofenac didrex diflucan digoxin dilantin diltiazem dimetapp diovan diprivan ditropan doxazosin doxycycline drixoral duragesic dyazide
E
effexor elavil elocon eloxatin emend enalapril enbrel endocet engerix-b entex epogen epzicom erbitux ertaczo ery-tab erythromycin estradiol evista 
F
fabrazyme famotidine fazaclo fenofibrate fioricet fiorinal flexeril flomax flonase flovent fluoxetine fosamax fosrenol furosemide  
G
gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
macrobid magnevist meclizine medroxyprogesterone meridia metformin methadone methamphetamine methotrexate methylphenidate methylprednisolone metoclopramide metoprolol metronidazole miacalcin minocycline mobic monopril morphine motrin myfortic  
N
naproxen nasacort nasonex natrecor neulasta neupogen neurontin nexium nifedipine nitrofurantoin norco nortriptyline norvasc  
O
omeprazole omnicef orthovisc oxybutynin oxycodone oxycontin oxytrol  
P
paraplatin patanol paxil pegasys penicillin pepcid percocet percodan percogesic phendimetrazine phenergan phentermine phenytoin plavix plendil potassium pravachol prednisone premarin prempro prevacid prilosec prinivil procrit promethazine propecia propofol propoxyphene propranolol protonix proventil provigil prozac pseudoephedrine pulmicort  
R
ranitidine rebetol reglan relafen relpax remeron remicade renagel renova rhinocort riomet risperdal risperidone ritalin rituxan rocephin rogaine roxicet  
S
sanctura seasonale sensipar serevent seroquel serzone singulair skelaxin soma somavert sonata spiriva spironolactone strattera striant sustiva synagis synthroid 
T
tamoxifen tavist taxol taxotere tegretol temazepam tenormin tenuate tequin terazosin tetracycline tiazac tindamax titralac tobradex topamax toprol tramadol trazodone triamcinolone triaminic triamterene tricor trileptal trimox triphasil trizivir truvada tylenol 
U
ultane ultracet ultram uroxatral
V
valium valtrex vaniqa vasotec velcade verapamil viagra vicodin vicoprofen vidaza viracept viread vytorin  
W
warfarin wellbutrin  
X
xalatan xanax xenical xifaxan xolair xopenex xyrem  
Y
yasmin 
Z
zanaflex zantac zavesca zelnorm zemplar zerit zestoretic zestril zetia ziac zithromax zocor zofran zoladex zoloft zometa zorbtive zosyn zovirax zyrtec zyvox