Side Effects of Aspirin

Commonly used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation in the body, aspirin is an over-the-counter drug but is also available in prescription form. It helps prevent stroke, blood clots, heart attack, and chest pain in certain people. It belongs to a group of drugs called salicylates – the drugs in this group work by stopping the production of substances called prostaglandin to reduce inflammation. However, there can be some side effects when you take too much or too often.

Aspirin Side Effects

When you do not take aspirin as per the instructions of your doctor or you simply take too much, you may end up experiencing several side effects.

You May Develop Stomach Issues

Aspirin can irritate the stomach lining and cause digestive problems. Excessive use can cause inflammation and even lead to stomach ulcers. These ulcers may also bleed, and this bleeding can be quite severe considering the fact that aspirin reduces blood clotting. 

You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice persistent abdominal pain, black/tarry stools, slurred speech, vomit resembling coffee grounds, and severe headaches.

It Can Cause Allergic Reactions

While it is rare, an allergic reaction may develop in some people. You should seek medical attention if you experience problems like severe dizziness, itching, rash, swelling of the tongue, face, or throat, and trouble breathing.

What's more, you should also seek medical attention if you are taking aspirin and experience problems like ringing in the ears, difficulty hearing, easy bruising, persistent nausea, dizziness, unexplained tiredness, yellowing skin, and dark urine.

How to Take Aspirin

You should take a tablet by mouth with a full glass of water. There will also be directions in the label; be sure to follow them properly. If you take aspiring and it upsets your stomach, consider taking it with food. Just avoid taking it more often than your doctor has recommended to avoid aspirin side effects.

  • It is better to avoid giving aspirin to children, but you should talk to your doctor before you take any step. It is important that you do not give this medication to your child to treat flu symptoms or chicken pox. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of aspirin to children as young as 12 year so of age. Older patients (older than 65 years) should also start with a small dose.
  • Be sure to inform your doctor about any medical condition you may have. This is especially true if you have asthma, anemia, diabetes, gout, kidney disease, or viral infections. Smokers should also take aspirin only when prescribed by a healthcare provider. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid it.
  • Sometimes, you have to take aspirin on a regular basis to treat certain conditions. In this case, you should know what to do if you miss a dose. The best thing is to take it as soon as you remember, but take only one dose if it is almost time for the next dose.
  • As mentioned already, it is possible to develop aspirin side effects, so you should talk to your doctor immediately if you notice any new type of pain or symptom. You may take it to treat a fever, but talk to your doctor if the condition persists for more than 3 days. Also ensure that you do not mix aspirin with other aspirin-like medicines because this increases your risk of bleeding and leads to other complications too.
  • Keep in mind that aspirin can irritate your throat and stomach lining, so do not take it when drinking alcohol. You should not lie down for at least half an hour after taking aspirin to prevent irritation to your stomach and throat. It is also better to avoid aspirin in case you are scheduled for any dental or medical procedure. Talk to your doctor for the best advice.

Medications That May Interact with Aspirin

When you take aspirin, you should be very careful with what you take with it. Aspirin can interact with other medications and undermine their efficacy. Aspirin can interact with the following drugs:

  • Anti-inflammatory painkillers: You should not take aspirin when you are already taking anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, and indomethacin. When combined with aspirin, these painkillers increase your risk of bleeding.
  • Methotrexate: It is used in the treatment of some autoimmune diseases and cancer, but it can interact with aspirin and make it difficult for your body to eliminate methotrexate from your system, which can cause several complications.
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: You should avoid combining SSRI antidepressants and aspirin because it can increase the risk of bleeding. Some common SSRI antidepressants include paroxetine, fluoxetine, citalopram, sertraline, and venlafaxine.
  • Warfarin: You should not take aspirin with warfarin, which is a blood thinner. Aspirin can interact with warfarin and reduce its effects. There are certain situations when your doctor may ask you to combine warfarin and aspirin.
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