What is aspirin? What does it do? How should it be used? What should be considered when using? Are there any side effects? Is it safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding? What is a safe dose? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

What is aspirin and what is it used for?

Aspirin is one of the oldest drugs still widely used. It belongs to a class of drugs called salicylates and works by suppressing the production of certain substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation.

Aspirin also affects platelets, that is, cells involved in blood clotting. Taking aspirin reduces the ability of platelets to stick together and form clots, making it useful in treating and sometimes preventing conditions where blood clots form in the arteries, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Low-dose aspirin (i.e. tablets containing 75-150mg aspirin) may be recommended daily to people who have had a previous heart attack or stroke to prevent them from having another heart attack.

How does aspirin work?

Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) create resistance to pain by preventing the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemical messengers that the body produces that cause inflammation, pain, fever, and swelling. Aspirin stops the production of pain-producing prostaglandins by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase enzyme involved in its production.

Another important effect of aspirin is that it helps prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries. The anticoagulant effect of said aspirin works by preventing the conditions required for a clot to form.

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aspirin for pain and fever

Aspirin can be used to treat occasional mild to moderate pain and fever. It can be used as a pain reliever in cases such as headache and migraine, menstrual pain, toothache, cold and flu symptoms, joint and muscle pain.

Aspirin should not be given to children younger than 16 years of age, especially if the child has symptoms of the flu or chickenpox, or has a fever . This is because aspirin can cause a condition called Reye’s syndrome , a serious and sometimes fatal condition in children.

aspirin for heart disease and stroke

A dose of aspirin is used by doctors as part of the initial emergency treatment for a heart attack.

Daily low-dose aspirin (between 100 and 150 mg/day) is recommended if the person is not allergic to aspirin to prevent a second heart attack in people who have already had a heart attack. The doctor may recommend that you take a combination of aspirin and clopidogrel tablets for the first 12 months.

Low-dose aspirin can be taken daily to prevent stroke and transient ischemic attacks in people who have had a previous stroke or transient ischemic attack.

However, recommendations differ for people who have never had a heart attack or stroke. Many medical professionals do not recommend daily use of low-dose aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease in people without a past history of heart attack or stroke, including those considered to be at high risk . This is because the risk of side effects outweighs the benefits for these people.

For people with coronary heart disease, doctors may recommend low-dose aspirin every day to reduce the risk of heart attack.

NOT!

Take low-dose aspirin every day only as directed by your doctor. Always ask your doctor about the risks and benefits before taking any medication.

Side effects of aspirin

Most people do not experience any side effects when taking aspirin; however, some people will experience side effects. The main side effects of aspirin are that it can irritate the stomach, causing heartburn, nausea or vomiting.

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Because aspirin thins your blood and makes it harder to clot, taking aspirin can increase your risk of bleeding, including bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Bleeding in the stomach or intestines is one of the most serious side effects of aspirin. For this reason, people with stomach or duodenal ulcers are generally advised not to take aspirin.

NOT!

If you notice that you have black tarry or coffee grounds stools and you vomit blood, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Aspirin can cause an allergic reaction in some people, resulting in a skin rash, hives (urticaria) , wheezing , and difficulty breathing. The reaction usually occurs within an hour of taking the aspirin. If this happens to you or anyone else, you should seek medical attention immediately.

NOT!

High doses of aspirin can cause tinnitus or deafness.

Dosage information for aspirin

When you take aspirin for temporary relief of pain and inflammation such as fever, headache, menstrual pain, the recommended dose is 300 mg or 500 mg tablets.

Low-dose aspirin taken daily to prevent heart attack or stroke is a much lower dose than given to relieve pain. The recommended daily dose to prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries is 100 mg tablets. Taking a larger dose than this will not protect you any more, but will increase your risk of side effects.

You should take aspirin at the dose recommended for you and follow the instructions for use. Some types of aspirin should be taken with food to reduce stomach upset.

NOT!

You should not take aspirin regularly without consulting your doctor.

taking low-dose aspirin daily

As mentioned, many people with heart or blood vessel disease take low-dose aspirin daily to reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Aspirin does this by reducing the stickiness of platelets, which reduces the risk of blood clots forming in the arteries that can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Low-dose aspirins are available as:

  • tablets
  • Enteric-coated capsules or tablets
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Enteric-coated aspirin, unlike regular aspirin, resists dissolution in the stomach and passes into the small intestine, where it dissolves and enters the bloodstream. This is because this way it helps to prevent the unwanted potential side effects of gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach ulcers. However, some doctors also argue that there is no tangible advantage to taking enteric-coated aspirin, as these risks may result from the effect of aspirin on the bloodstream.

NOT!

If you’re taking daily aspirin, it’s important not to stop it suddenly, as it can trigger a blood clot. You should always consult your doctor before stopping regular medications.

Low-dose aspirin may also be recommended for the prevention of pregnancy poisoning (preeclampsia) in pregnant women at high risk.

taking aspirin during pregnancy

Aspirin (and other NSAIDs) should not be used during pregnancy, especially in the late stages of pregnancy (last 3 months), because they increase the risk of bleeding both before and during delivery. However, as noted, some women with certain risks may be given low-dose regular aspirin to try to prevent pregnancy poisoning. The most reliable way for pain relief during pregnancy is to consult a doctor.

taking aspirin while breastfeeding

It is not safe to take aspirin while breastfeeding unless prescribed by a doctor. Aspirin can pass into breast milk and in such a case there is a risk of Reye’s syndrome in the baby.

Aspirin and equivalent drugs

Aspirin and its equivalent drugs available in our country include the following:

  • ASPIRIN 100 MG 20 TABLET
  • ASPIRIN 500 MG 20 TABLET
  • ATASPIN 500 MG 20 TABLET
  • ATASPIN 80 MG 20 TABLET
  • CORASPIN 100 MG 30 ENTERIC COATED TABLET
  • CORASPIN 100 MG 90 ENTERIC COATED TABLET
  • CORASPIN 300 MG 30 ENTERIC COATED TABLET
  • DISPRIL 300 MG 24 TABLET
  • ECOPIRIN 100 MG 30 ENTERIK TABLET
  • ECOPIRIN 150 MG 30 ENTERIC COATED TABLET
  • ECOPIRIN 300 MG 30 ENTERIC COATED TABLET
  • ECOPIRIN PRO 81 MG 30 ENTERIC COATED TABLET
  • TIRES 500 MG 20 TABLET
  • PHARMASPIRIN 300 MG 100 TABLET

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