Aspirin is a medication that is widely known for its frequent use. It is salicylate and works by reducing the substances in the body that results in inflammation, pain, and fever. Aspirin is used for many purposes. It can be used in preventing heart attacks, chest pain, and strokes. It is found to be an active ingredient in cold and flu preparations as well. However, its use for conditions like cancer and diabetes is still under investigation.
Aspirin reduces the risk of clot formation. A blood clot forms in the blood vessel if many platelets sticks to the atheroma. Any clot in the arteries prevents the blood to flow to the tissues down. If somehow the blood clot occurs in the arteries and areas of the brain or heart, then a heart attack can occur. Preferring low dose aspirin minimizes the stickiness of platelets. But before you take the medicine, there are few important things to remember.
Before taking medicine, remember:
Never give aspirin to any child or teen that has a fever, flu or any chicken pox symptoms as aspirin can cause serious problems, like Reye’s syndrome in children.
Prevent taking the medication if you are allergic to aspirin or ever suffer from:
- A history of stomach or intestinal bleeding
- Any bleeding disorder such as haemophilia
- An allergy to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, for example, ibuprofen, naproxen, ketoprofen, indomethacin or any others
Always consult the doctor before taking the medicine or if you have:
- Liver or kidney disease
- Nasal polyps
- A heart problem, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure
- Stomach ulcers
Aspirin can be very dangerous for an unborn baby’s heart, causing severe side-effects. So it is essential that your doctor knows full details about your pregnancy or when you will conceive before prescribing aspirin.
What are the side-effects of aspirin?
There is comparatively a small risk to develop any serious side effects with this medication. However, those taking a low-dose aspirin have fewer chances but they can experience side-effects too and these include:
- Bleeding in the stomach- Bleeding in the gut or stomach can occur if one already has an ulcer in the stomach. For safer side, one should prevent taking aspirin. If anyhow, problems such as abdominal pain, passing of blood in the stool and blood during vomit occur then immediate medical assistance will be required.
Other side-effects include:
- Ringing in the ears, hallucinations, rapid breathing, seizure
- Severe nausea, vomiting and stomach pain
- Fever lasting more than three days
- Swelling and pain for more than ten days
- Upset stomach or heartburn
- Severe headache
To prevent the problems while taking aspirin, one can:
- Prefer having an alternative antiplatelet medicine named clopidogrel
- If bleeding from the gut or stomach still occurs, then doctor can advise a good medication for the protection of stomach lining
Also read: Migraine: Symptoms & Treatments
Aspirin dosage and other important details:
- Take an aspirin exactly as recommended by your doctor or follow his instructions and see the label to prevent any side-effects
- Aspirin can be taken with food if it troubles stomach
- Never try to open, break or crush it. Swallow it as a whole
- If you have your surgery due, then must tell your surgeon that you are taking aspirin because he may advise you to stop its consumption for a short period
The dosage for aspirin in adult varies in treating a particular set of conditions:
- Fever or pain- 325 mg to 650 mg in every 4-6 hours as required
- Problem of rheumatoid arthritis caused by inflammation- 975 mg 4 to 6 times daily on a regular basis. Sometimes, higher doses may be used.
- Migraine headache pain– 1,000 mg at the onset of pain or symptoms
- To prevent a first nonfatal heart attack, TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) a second heart attack or second stroke- 80 mg to 325 mg once daily
- During a heart attack- 160 mg to 162 mg chewed or crushed
- To prevent blood clots after total hip replacement surgery- 162 mg to 325 mg taken daily
- For rheumatic fever- 80 mg per kilogram of body weight each day in divided doses
Aspirin is not prescribed for children, teens or young adults for the fever. But when it is taken for other conditions like pain or ache then the dosage is 10 mg to 15 mg per kilogram of body weight in every 6 hours as required for maximum of 2,400 mg each day.
In order to treat pain, ache or preventing blood clots aspirin is the best choice. But remember every time you take the medication a doctor’s consultation is a must. To avoid its side-effects and to lead a happy pain- free life, it is important you read the prescription label carefully and stay in touch with your doctor always.