Aspirin
DESCRIPTION

Aspirin is the generic name of a drug that is available in different brands. It belongs to the group of drugs termed ‘Salicylates’ that work by blocking substances which cause pain, fever and inflammation in your body.

How It Works

The intake of Aspirin results in the inactivation of the enzyme ‘Cyclooxygenase’ which in turn stops the synthesis of prostaglandin and thromboxane; ingredients with hormone-like properties in a cell. Aspirin also has an effect on platelet aggregation. It inhibits the development of thromboxane A2 in platelets. By doing so, it prevents blood clots in the heart and reduces the chance of getting a heart attack or stroke. Furthermore, Aspirin is reduced to salicylic acid in the body which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Uses

Aspirin is a treatment for pains such as headaches and lessen fever. It can be taken as a short-term medication to relieve muscle pains, toothaches and menstrual cramps. It is also given to patients who have had a heart attack, to help prevent another attack. Aspirin prevents blood clots and thereby averts heart strokes.

Dosage

Generally, Aspirin should be taken by adults 4 times every 4 to 6 hours a day to relieve fever or pain. Adults and teenagers can take 3 tablets every 6 hours or 1 or 2 tablets every 4 hours. It is risky to take more than 12 tablets in 24 hours.

Aspirin is prescribed once a day to heart patients. The daily dosage can be between 50 mg to 6000 mg and the quantity depends on the condition of the patient.

Get medical advice before giving Aspirin to children below 12 years of age. The usual pediatric dose for fever and pain is 10 to 15 mg/kg every 4 to 6 hours.

Side Effects

Some common side effects of Aspirin are:

Nausea
Vomiting
Drowsiness
Heart burn
Abdominal Pain
Rapid breathing
Mild Headache

In addition, allergic reactions to Aspirin can cause your face, tongue or throat to swell, cause skin rashes and make breathing difficult.

Seek immediate medical attention if any of the more severe side effects listed below are experienced.

Poor hearing
Swelling of eyes
Blood in vomit
Blood in urine or stools

Precautions

Prescriptions of other drugs or nutrition supplements taken during the same time should be submitted to your doctor. Especially medications such as:

ACE inhibitors
Anti-coagulants
Beta inhibitors
Medication for diabetes
Medication for gout
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Valproic Acid

Aspirin should not be taken if you have had a past of intestinal bleeding, a condition called hemophilia and if you have an allergy to NSAIDs.

The following medical complications should be made known to the doctor before taking Aspirin.

Asthma
Liver and Kidney diseases
High blood pressure
Heart diseases
Gout

Avoid consuming alcohol or using tobacco products once Aspirin is taken. Aspirin’s reaction with alcohol/ tobacco can increase stomach bleeding.

Self-Care

The intake of too many drugs with similar constituents is harmful to your body. Always check if the drugs you purchase have aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen, or an NSAID to avoid taking such medicines together.

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