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This article is not medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or use the medication guide.
What is Aspirin?
Aspirin is a multi-purpose nonsteroidal medication mainly used to manage fevers and inflammation. It’s also used to relieve mild to moderate pain from muscle aches, rheumatoid arthritis, common cold, headaches, and toothaches.
Aspirin is also commonly used as a blood thinner to reduce blood clots’ formation, which could lead to a heart attack.
The Aspirin that we know today was first invented as Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) back in the 1890s by a German chemist, Felix Hoffmann. Later, this drug was renamed Aspirin by Bayer Pharmaceuticals Company. The FDA approved Bayer Aspirin for use in the USA in 1965.
Aspirin is a generic drug that comes in different brand names, such as:
- Bayer Buffered Aspirin
- Alka Seltzer Extra Strength with Aspirin
- Bayer Children’s Aspirin
- Arthritis Pain Formula
Proper Use of Aspirin
Aspirin comes in the forms and strengths indicated below;
- Tablet (conventional) - 81 mg, 325 mg, 500 mg
- Tablet (delayed release) – 162 mg, 325 mg, and 500 mg
- Tablet (chewable) - 75 mg and 81 mg
- Tablet (enteric coated) – 81 mg, 162 mg, 325 mg, and 650 mg
- Gum (chewable) – 227 mg
- Capsule (extended release- Durlaza) - 162 mg
- Aspirin Suppositories- 150mg and 300mg
While Aspirin (Durlaza generic) is available as an over-the-counter drug, Aspirin therapy isn’t for everyone. So, a lot of caution should be exercised when using this drug. How and when you take Aspirin will depend on a few factors, for instance, the form and strength of the medicine, what you’re treating (or managing), your age, and your overall health condition. A rule of thumb is to discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before starting an Aspirin therapy.
If you’re using the conventional tablets, you should swallow the tablet whole using water. Enteric-coated aspirin, delayed-release, and extended-release Aspirin tablets should be swallowed whole too without crushing.
If you’re taking Aspirin to self-treat against pain, take the drug at the onset of the pain. This increases its effectiveness. Remember not to self-medicate with Aspirin for more than 10 days, though.
If you’re treating a fever with Aspirin, report to a doctor if the symptoms haven’t subsided by the 3rd day. Worth mentioning, Aspirin (Durlaza generic) can damage the delicate lining of your stomach as it disintegrates. Remember to take it with a meal or after eating to minimize stomach upsets.
Aspirin Dosage for Adults, Teenagers, and Children
Aspirin dosage depends on the age of the patient and the severity of the symptoms. That’s to say that the dosage is individualized, and it should be taken as directed by the doctor or pharmacist. Here are the common dosage considerations when taking Aspirin:
Aspirin for fever dosage
- Oral: 300-650 mg every 4-6 hours (as needed)
- Rectal: 300-600 mg in intervals of 4 hours (as required)
- Maximum aspirin dosage per day shouldn’t exceed 4 g
Children (12 years and above)
- Oral: 300-650g orally on an as-needed basis (every 4-6 hours)
- Maximum aspirin dose every 24 hours shouldn’t exceed 4g
Aspirin for pain dosage
- Oral: 300-650 mg every 4-6 hour
- Rectal: 300-600 mg in intervals of 4 hour
Children (12 years and above)
- Oral: take 300-650 mg orally every 4-6 hour
Aspirin for Blood Clots Dosage
Take 160-162.5 mg of chewable or conventional aspirin tablets orally as soon as you suspect heart attack occurrence. Follow this with an equal dose every day for the next 30 days.
Aspirin dosage for Kawasaki disease
Aspirin for kids is used to manage Kawasaki disease, which is characterized by high fevers and peeling of the skin. In the first phase, give 80-100 g/kg orally spread across 14 days. After the acute phase, follow up the dosage with doses of 1-5 mg/kg every day for 6-8 weeks.
What should you do if you missed a dose of Aspirin?
If you’re using Aspirin to prevent the risk of a blood clot, take the dose immediately you remember and continue with your regular schedule. However, to avoid overdosing, you should skip the missed dose if it’s close to the next one.
Can you overdose on Aspirin? What to do
Aspirin overdose can happen intentionally or accidentally. Aspirin overdose can happen unintentionally, too, where the drug builds up in your system over time, leading to what’s medically known as chronic overdose.
The latter is common among older people and individuals whose kidneys aren’t working correctly. A significant symptom of Aspirin overdose is tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Other mild Aspirin overdose symptoms include impaired hearing, rapid breathing, vomiting, fever, and feeling faint. Severe symptoms may include increased heart rate, wheezing, hallucinations, and bleeding.
If you’re on Aspirin therapy and experience ringing ears, consult a doctor immediately or call 911 directly.
What is Aspirin used for?
Common conditions and diseases that Aspirin is used for in adults:
- Rheumatoid Arthriti
- Heart Attack
- Colorectal cancer
- Prophylaxis (Myocardial Infarction, Angina Pectoris, Ischemic stroke, and Revascularization procedures)
Common conditions and diseases that Aspirin is used for in children:
- Thrombotic disorder
- Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis
Here are a few essential things to understand before using Aspirin:
Some people may experience an allergic reaction with Aspirin. Also, some have a non-allergic response even if they are not allergic to Aspirin. Aspirin allergy symptoms include bloodshot eyes, itchy rashes (hives), flushing, asthma, and a stuffy and runny nose. If you’re allergic to Aspirin or other pain killers, tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking these drugs.
Aspirin has been found to interact with over 300 types of drugs. These interactions range from mild to major. If you’re currently taking any other drug (prescription, OTC drug, or herbal), let your doctor/pharmacist know before taking Aspirin.
Here are a few medications that have a moderate to significant interaction with Aspirin;
- Fish Oil
Aspirin during pregnancy- generally, Aspirin is considered unsafe for expectant mothers, especially in the third semester. Taking high-dose Aspirin could affect the brain and heart development of the fetus. However, some doctors will prescribe Bayer low dose Aspirin (also called baby Aspirin) during pregnancy to prevent preeclampsia (a dangerous condition characterized by high blood pressure) and pregnancy loss.
Pediatric- most states don’t recommend Aspirin for children below 12 years of age (16 years in some countries) when treating juvenile Rheumatic fever. However, some experts may prescribe it when treating Kawasaki and preventing thrombotic disorder after surgery. Note that Aspirin is at high risk of causing Reye’s syndrome, which is characterized by the brain’s swelling and inflammation.
Aspirin has interactions with multiple drugs. Disclose to your doctor about any prescription or OTC drugs that you’re taking.
Baby Aspirin 81 mg and other strengths may interact with certain diseases, including asthma, gout, ulcers, and diabetes. Tell your doctor if you’re suffering from or you’ve been treated with these diseases recently.
Aspirin for kids and children below 12 years is not recommended unless directed by a doctor.
Aspirin may cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Stop therapy and consult your doctor for further checkup and guidance.
Aspirin causes stomach upsets. Always take it with lots of water or after a meal.
Aspirin side effect
These side effects of Aspirin are common but mild. Consult your doctor in case they persist or become severe;
- Stomach pain
These side effects of Aspirin are serious and require immediate medical attention;
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Hearing impairment
- Increased heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Bloody stool
Proper storage of Aspirin
Keep Aspirin in its original packaging/container and store in a cool and dry place. This drug disintegrates to lose its efficacy quickly if misplaced. Ensure that it stays at room temperature. Dispose of any Aspirin tablet or Aspirin powder dosage that has changed color or has a strong vinegar smell.
The best price for Aspirin depends on where you’re getting it. This drug is generally inexpensive, and having the best coupon for Aspirin will lead to increased cost savings if you’re buying a large supply. The price of Baby Aspirin 81 mg oral tablet starts from $7 for a 36-tablet dose. The price of Aspirin 325 mg oral tablet starts from $9.55 for a 50-tablet dose. With the best Aspirin coupon, you could get different forms and strengths at over 50% discounts. Compare the RX coupons above to discover some of the best deals.
Aspirin Mechanism of Action
So, we’ve seen the benefits of Aspirin and its side effects, but how does Aspirin work? Aspirin belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Research studies show that Aspirin works by inactivating cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme. This enzyme is necessary for the production and release of thromboxanes and prostaglandins. These substances play a key role in causing pain, fever, swelling, and inflammation. By inhibiting their synthesis, Aspirin succeeds in managing these symptoms.