Aspirin is used for treatment for treatment of aches and pains associated with headache, common cold, and sore throat and for reduction of fever. It may be used to reduce the risk of death and lessen the damaging effects of an acute heart attack. It is also used to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in certain men and women who have already had a heart attack or ischemic stroke. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
How to use
Use Aspirin as directed by your doctor.
Take Aspirin by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
Swallow Aspirin whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
Take Aspirin with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Aspirin.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by inhibiting several different chemical processes within the body that cause pain, inflammation, and fever. It also reduces the tendency for blood to clot.
If you miss a dose of Aspirin and are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Aspirin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep in a tight, light-resistant container. Keep Aspirin out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Do not use Aspirin if:
you are allergic to any ingredient in Aspirin;
you are a child or teenager with influenza (flu) or chickenpox;
you have bleeding problems such as hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, or low blood platelets;
you have active severe bleeding;
you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, breathing difficulties, dizziness), to aspirin, salicylates (e.g., salsalate), tartrazine, or an NSAID (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib).
Contact your doctor right away if any of these apply to you.
Do not take Aspirin for more than 10 days for pain or for more than 3 days for fever unless directed to do so by your health care provider.
Check with your doctor if fever or pain worsens, redness or swelling is present, or new symptoms occur. If you have a sore throat that is severe, lasts for more than 2 days, or is accompanied or followed by fever, headache, rash, nausea, or vomiting, check with your doctor.
Aspirin has aspirin in it. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has aspirin in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Aspirin may have calcium, aluminum, or magnesium in it. Ask your pharmacist which of these ingredients is in Aspirin.
Talk to your doctor before you take Aspirin or other pain relievers/fever reducers if you drink more than 3 drinks with alcohol per day. Serious stomach ulcers or bleeding can occur with the use of Aspirin. Taking it in high doses or for a long time, smoking, or drinking alcohol increases the risk of these side effects. Taking Aspirin with food will not reduce the risk of these effects. Contact your doctor or emergency room at once if you develop severe stomach or back pain; black, tarry stools; vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds; or unusual weight gain or swelling.
Aspirin may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
Aspirin has been linked to a serious illness called Reye syndrome. Do not give Aspirin to a child or teenager who has the flu, chickenpox, or a viral infection. Contact your doctor with any questions or concerns.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Aspirin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
If Aspirin has a strong vinegar-like smell upon opening, do not use. It means the medicine is breaking down. Throw the bottle away safely and out of the reach of children; contact your pharmacist and replace.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Aspirin while you are pregnant. This medicine is not recommended during the last 3 months (third trimester) of pregnancy because it may cause harm to the fetus. Aspirin is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Aspirin, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
heartburn; nausea; upset stomach.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black or bloody stools; confusion; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; hearing loss; ringing in the ears; severe or persistent stomach pain; unusual bruising; vomiting.