Careful Usage, Precautions, and Side Effects of Aspirin

Aspirin is a common painkiller that we pop when the pain in our body becomes unbearable. Doctors advise the consumption of aspirin with care as it is believed that it can cause some really difficult side effects which are hard to beat. In most situations, excessive and frequent usage of the medicine can cause issues like blood clots and in severe cases even heart attack and strokes. Not to be given to children, the medicine is otherwise quite effective in easing all the common pain problems for an adult. Let us have a look at aspirin, its usage and what kind of side effects it can cause.

Benefits of Aspirin

Aspirin as a medicine helps to relieve the pain caused by situations such as muscle and toothaches, headache and common cold etc. In case the patient is suffering from a severe case of arthritis, aspirin can help in reducing the inflammation in joints caused by the disease. You can consider it as a salicylate and an anti-inflammatory drug. Generally, kids below the age of 12 are refrained from taking aspirin however dire the situation is for them.

Usage of Aspirin

In case the medicine is being consumed one off and on a self- decision then it is best to follow the directions that have been already mentioned on the pack. However, in case you find that the information mentioned is misleading it would be better to take a piece of advice either from the pharmacist or the doctor you usually consult. Some doctors advise for baby aspirin instead.

The medicine is supposed to be taken by mouth along with a full glass of water. It is advisable not to lie down at least 10 minutes after you have consumed the same. If earlier you have faced stomach upset because of consuming the medicine with water you can also take it with milk or food. Even enteric coated tablets of aspirin need to be consumed as a whole. If you crush or chew chances are you might have to face the problem of getting a stomach upset.

You should also not crush extended-release tablets or capsules as taking a large amount of the medicine together increases the chances of these side effects. Dosage and duration of treatment generally depend on the kind of ailment you are suffering from. On the product label, you find all instructions about how much of the medicine you can take and at what intervals.

You may also have to see how long you need to take this treatment before finally taking professional advice. It is better to take the smallest effective dose possible. Even in the case this is not possible, it is better if you do not exceed the recommendations suggested by the doctor. In the end, if the symptoms are too severe, you might have to stop the consumption of the same. However, it is advisable to take the doctors suggestion before taking any final decision on it.

Who Are Advised Not To Take Aspirin At All?

Despite the fact that aspirin is a pretty popular drug to control the pain of any kinds, there are still some people who should completely refrain from consuming the drug. Such people include:

  • If you are allergic to any particular ingredient of the medicine
  • If you are in your last trimester of pregnancy
  • If you have always been prone to bleeding
  • If you have had a past history of stomach ulcers or have one presently
  • If you are suffering from Kidney, liver and congestive heart failure.

Side Effects of Aspirin

The side effects that you can face from consumption of Aspirin can range from simple pretty common ones to some very harsh reactions.

Most Common Side Effects of Aspirin

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Drowsiness
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Buzzing or ringing in ears
  • Signs of bleeding which include nosebleeds and cuts that do not heal with time.
  • Blood in urine or coughing blood
  • General tiredness
  • The perpetual feeling of weakness
  • Heaviness felt in legs
  • Yellow eyes and skin
  • Gain in your weight

Even though these symptoms are pretty common if they persist for a very long time, it means something seems to be seriously wrong. In that case, consulting your doctor to know how the situation can be averted is the only possible solution at hand.

Severe Side Effects of Aspirin

If the symptoms as mentioned below keep bothering you, it would be better if you do not ignore the signs and call out to your doctor immediately.

  • Loss of hearing and too much ringing in the ears.
  • Hives or rashes in the body
  • Swelling seen on face, lips, eyes, throat
  • Wheezing sound and difficulty in breathing through the nose.
  • Hoarseness in voice while speaking
  • Fast or very fast heartbeat
  • Fast breathing
  • Cold and clammy skin all over
  • Blood in vomit or if the vomit is coffee in color
  • Bright red blood spots are seen in stools or even black and tarry stools
  • Serious allergic responses in the form of abdominal cramps, nausea, swelling in face and throat, and difficulty in breathing.
  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle tremors
  • Increased feeling of thirst.
  • The decrease in frequency of passing urine
  • Fever, high or very high
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fainting
  • Diarrhea
  • Convulsions either severe or in continuation
  • Discomfort or pain in the chest
  • Gastric irritation
  • Perforation and ulceration
  • Irritation
  • Belching
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Acidic or sour stomach

Highly Severe (Rare) Side Effects of Aspirin

  • Renal failure and insufficiency
  • Anemia
  • Antepartum or postpartum bleeding
  • Anaphylactic reactions like shocks
  • Hemorrhagic vasculitis
  • Cerebral edema
  • Coma Headache and seizures
  • Intracranial damage or hemorrhage
  • Asthma
  • Agitation in mind
  • Confusion
  • Hypotension
  • Salt and water retention
  • Hypo and Hyperglycaemia
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Trouble in sleeping in spite of feeling drowsy all the time
  • Shaking of hands and feet

Some Precautions Before Taking Aspirin

Apart from the above, there are some other precautions that the doctors advise before a person takes a dose of aspirin. Mentioned below are certain factors that need to be given due consideration before starting on the medicine.

1. Alcohol

In case you regularly consume Alcohol then you can take Aspirin with a little bit of care. If you are on a course of aspirin, you would have to limit your consumption of alcohol otherwise it can cause bleeding in the stomach.

2. Bleeding

Aspirin is supposed to have antiplatelet properties. This means if there is bleeding then Aspirin will not let it stop. If because of the medicine you face any bleeding issues you would have to ask your doctor for ways to solve the problem.

3. Asthmatic people

In case you have had a past history with Asthma or face regular breathing issues then you would have to keep your Aspirin consumption in check. Apart from that, some people are allergic to a few items, and before starting this medicine, you need to inquire from your doctor about how many doses are considered okay and how it can bother your already affected life.

4. Diabetes

The presence of acetylsalicylic acid in aspirin can seriously alter your blood sugar levels. Hence for people affected with Diabetes, the dosage of this medicine can cause your situation to aggravate further. Special monitoring would be required when the person who is taking medicine is also suffering from Diabetes.

5. Gout

Sufferers of Gout may also have to face the problem in a more extensive manner after taking aspirin. Again, aspirin can increase the level of urea in the body and thus increase the pain that gout is already causing you. As a result, painful joints and difficulty in passing urine can force you to check the medication you are taking.

6. Liver functioning

In case you have already faced the problem of a malfunctioning liver, be assured that the situation can worsen with the use of aspirin. Better to take remedies and consult a doctor before you start any course of the medicine.

7. Surgery

If you are planning to have surgery in the near future then the consumption of Aspirin should be stopped at least one week before it happens. Even a minor surgery like dental extraction can be painful as there might be bleeding which would not stop.

8. Age constraints

Both seniors and children are at an increased risk of facing the side effects of aspirin. In fact, if children or teenagers consume the same during Chickenpox or influenza, it may result in Reye’s syndrome a disease which can cause Liver and Brain damage.

Aspirin has been an extremely useful drug so far, but only if we understand the kind of harmful effects, it may cause. You can take a pill or two without advice, but for the prolonged relief it is better if you consult a doctor to know how beneficial it may prove to you. Acetylsalicylic acid present in Aspirin has a severe impact, in case you are already suffering from any of the above-mentioned ailments. The doctor’s advice should be considered most important and followed diligently for quick relief and reducing possibilities for any other major complication.

Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.

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