Active Ingredient: acetylsalicylic acid
Aspirin is in a group of drugs called salicylates. It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation.
It is often given to patients immediately after a heart attack to prevent further clot formation and cardiac tissue death.
Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
NSAIDs are medications with the following effects:
- Analgesic: Relieves pain without anesthesia or loss of consciousness
- Antipyretic: Reduces a fever
- Anti-inflammatory: Lowers inflammation when used in higher doses
Non-steroidal means they are not steroids. Steroids often have similar benefits, but they can have unwanted side effects.
As analgesics, NSAIDs tend to be non-narcotic. This means they do not cause insensibility or stupor. Aspirin was the first NSAID to be discovered.
Aspirin in its present form has been around for over 100 years. It is still one of the most widely used medications in the world. It is estimated that around 35,000 metric tons of aspirin is consumed annually.
Aspirin is a trademark owned by the German pharmaceutical company, Bayer. The generic term for aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid (ASA).
You shouldn’t take aspirin to treat pain for longer than 10 days or to treat a fever that lasts longer than three days, as this may signal a more serious condition.
Talk to your doctor if you have surgery to remove your tonsils to determine which types of pain medication are safe to take.
Aspirin is a commonly used over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer. Knowing how to use aspirin safely decreases the chance for undesirable side effects. Here are 10 things you should know about aspirin.
Extended-release tablets should be swallowed whole and taken with a full glass of water. Breaking, crushing, or chewing the tablets is strongly discouraged since it would interfere with the extended-release aspect and could deliver too much at once.
- Aspirin tablets should be swallowed with a full glass of water.
- Chewable aspirin tablets can be chewed, crushed, or taken whole. Drinking a full glass of water after taking the tablets is recommended.’
Your doctor will discuss what dose is right for you. Very low doses of aspirin — such as 75 to 150 milligrams (mg), but most commonly 81 mg — can be effective. Your doctor will usually prescribe a daily dose anywhere from 75 mg — the amount in an adult low-dose aspirin — to 325 mg (a regular strength tablet).
If you have had a heart attack or have had a heart stent placed, it’s very important to take aspirin and any other blood-thinning medications exactly as recommended.
You should not use aspirin if you have a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia, a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding, or if you are allergic to an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Orudis, Indocin, Lodine, Voltaren, Toradol, Mobic, Relafen, Feldene, and others.
Do not give this medication to a child or teenager with a fever, flu symptoms, or chicken pox. Salicylates can cause Reye’s syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition in children.