What is aspirin
is in a class of drugs called salicylates. It works by reducing
substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation.
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.
may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this
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.
break, chew, or crush the enteric-coated tablets. These
have a special coating to protect your stomach. Swallow
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
- 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
- have heart disease;
- have high
- have gout;
- have asthma;
- 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
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
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.
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);
bloody, or tarry stools;
- nausea, vomiting, or abdominal
- uncontrolled fever;
- blood in your
urine or vomit;
- decreased hearing or ringing in
- seizures; or
- dizziness, confusion,
If you experience any of the following
less serious side effects, notify your doctor:
heartburn or indigestion,
- faint ringing in the
- drowsiness, or
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);
- 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
If you have diabetes, moderate to large doses
of aspirin may produce false urine glucose test results.
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.