Phone

Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Vomiting, agitation, extreme fatigue, confusion; allergic reaction causing troubled breathing, redness of face, itching, swelling of face, lips, or eyelids. These are symptoms of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious disorder that is most likely to affect patients under the age of 16. Seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Common

Stomach upset, rash, nausea, ringing in the ears.
Less Common

Insomnia.
Aspirin


Drug Class:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID); analgesic; anticoagulant

Available OTC?: Yes

Available Generic?: Yes

Generic 325 mg
(LNK)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions



Available In
Tablets, capsules

Why Prescribed
For mild to moderate everyday pain and inflammation; to reduce fever; to prevent the formation of blood clots, a primary cause of heart attack, stroke, and other circulatory problems; to ease the inflammation, joint pain, and stiffness associated with arthritis.

How It Works
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin inhibit the release of chemicals in the body called prostaglandins, which play a role in inflammation, though it is unknown exactly how they exert their pain-relieving, fever-reducing, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Range and Frequency
For pain or fever: 325 to 650 mg every 4 hours as needed. For prevention of blood clots: 80 to 100 mg daily or every other day. For arthritis: 3,600 to 5,400 mg daily in divided doses.

Onset of Effect
Thirty minutes.

Duration of Action
For pain relief, up to four hours.

Dietary Advice
Swallow aspirin with food or a full glass of water to lessen stomach irritation.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light.

Missed Dose
For pain and fever, take a missed dose as soon as you remember, then wait four hours for your next dose. For arthritis, take the aspirin as soon as you remember up to two hours late, then return to your regular schedule.

Stopping the Drug
For pain and fever, stop when relief is achieved. For arthritis and blood clotting, consult your doctor about stopping.

Prolonged Use
Talk to your doctor about the need for medical examinations or laboratory tests if you must take aspirin regularly for a prolonged period.

Over 60
Gastrointestinal bleeding and irritation are more likely to occur in older persons.

Driving and Hazardous Work
The use of aspirin should not impair your ability to perform such tasks safely.

Alcohol
Alcohol intake should be limited because it increases the risk of stomach irritation and bleeding.

Pregnancy
Do not use aspirin during the last three months of pregnancy unless prescribed by your doctor.

Breast Feeding
Aspirin passes into breast milk. Avoid it or do not nurse.

Infants and Children
Do not give aspirin to children under age 16 unless your doctor instructs otherwise, since it may cause a very rare but life-threatening condition known as Reye's syndrome.

Overdose Symptoms
Nausea, disorientation, seizures, vomiting, rapid breathing, fever.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor before taking aspirin if you currently take a blood pressure medication, a medication for gout, an arthritis drug, an anticoagulant such as warfarin, a diabetes medication, a steroid, or an antiseizure medication.

Food Interactions
No known adverse food interactions. Taking aspirin with caffeine-containing foods or beverages may actually enhance the medicine's pain-relieving effects.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor about taking aspirin if you have asthma, a bleeding disorder, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, gout, hemophilia, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disease, or a peptic ulcer.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
Previous  |  Next
> Printer-friendly Version