A Guide to Aspirin

A Guide to Aspirin

Published: 19th June, 2020 in: Health

Aspirin has been dubbed the ‘the miracle drug’ due to its abilities to help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and relieve pain. It is a drug with an array of benefits which can be used to help with a wide variety of conditions. This guide lets you know the bare facts of Aspirin and its use as a medicine. 

What is aspirin used for?

Aspirin is a drug with a number of uses and is often prescribed by medical professionals to help in the prevention of major medical conditions, such as heart attacks. Depending on how it is prescribed, aspirin can have a number of benefits and uses. Common uses for aspirin include:

  • A daily low dose of aspirin is sometimes prescribed as a blood thinning medication to help in the treatment of certain blood conditions where required.
  • A course of low dose aspirin has also been found to help in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes in people who are at a higher risk of these medical conditions. A doctor may also prescribe a low dose of aspirin daily for those who have already had a heart attack or stroke to help prevent another. The dosage prescribed will be specific to each patient ensuring they are kept at a safe dosage and can continue to retain the positive effects of aspirin. They will base this dose on a number of factors, which may include age, medical history, current health conditions and more.
  • Aspirin also works as  effective pain relief for aches and pains. Pains, such as toothache, headache, and period pain, which cause discomfort can be relieved by the right use of aspirin products. It is an effective everyday painkiller and is a common ingredient in cold and flu products. Aspirin for pain relief can be purchased in pharmacies, supermarkets and some shops. 

Taking other medicines with aspirin

If you are taking multiple medicines, including over-the-counter medications, it is important to discuss this with your doctor or with a pharmacist before taking aspirin. This is to ensure that the aspirin will not interact with other medications and cause it to stop working or result in any negative side effects. It is generally safe to take aspirin with paracetamol or codeine for most people.

Do not take aspirin with ibuprofen or naproxen without talking to a doctor first. This is because aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are all part of the same group of medicines, which means that taking them together can increase the likelihood of side effects occurring and the severity of these.

You should discuss dosage with your doctor if you are unsure about the medicine. 

Who should not take aspirin

There are people that have to be careful when taking aspirin; there are also a number of people that should not take it at all. Anyone who has or had liver problems, should consult with a doctor before taking aspirin as it can affect the liver. If you have thin blood or are currently taking medication that thins the blood, you should  also discuss with your doctor before taking aspirin. This is because aspirin can also thin the blood. 

You should also ensure that you discuss the use of aspirin with your doctor before taking if you are on other medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen. This is because it can be unsafe to mix medicines from the same group. It is always recommended to read the boxes and leaflets of medication before taking others as they may specify not to take the product whilst on certain other medications or whilst conducting certain activities. You should also check the ingredients to make sure you are not allergic to anything contained within the medicine and products formula. 

Aspirin Side Effects 

It is important to consider and recognise the side effects of taking aspirin. Aspirin comes with side effects of varying types and not everyone experiences them. Below is a list of side effects that can happen after taking aspirin. 

Common side effects include:
If these side effects are causing discomfort, speak to your doctor or a medical professional. 

  • Mild indigestion - Indigestion is caused by acid in the stomach which irritates the stomach lining and the throat. Indigestion gives a burning sensation and can cause pain. Stress may also cause indigestion to feel worse at times.
  • Bleeding more easily than usual - aspirin thins blood which can make it easier for someone to bleed when taking the medicine. This includes nosebleeds, becoming more bruise sensitive, and experiencing more blood flow from minor cuts.

Serious side effects include:
If you experience any of the below symptoms, you must seek medical attention immediately. 

  • Irritated skin - red and blistered skin which peels. This can be very uncomfortable and it is important to recognise any changes with your skin. Contact your doctor or a medical professional if you experience irritated skin. 
  • Coughing up blood or any blood in urine, poo or vomit - Seek medical attention immediately. 
  • Skin colour changes - If your skin is yellowish or the whites of your eyes appear yellow, this could be a sign of liver problems which need immediate medical attention. Aspirin can have an impact on the liver, so if you have or have had liver problems it is important to speak to your doctor before taking aspirin.
  • Painful joints - If your hands and feet joints are painful then this could be due to high levels of uric acid in the blood.
  • Swelling - Any swelling in the hands or feet could be a sign of water retention and should be checked by a medical professional.

There may also be other side effects from aspirin. Speak to a doctor or pharmacist to find out more.

Difference between aspirin and aspirin dispersible

There is a difference between aspirin and aspirin dispersible. In dispersible form, aspirin is rapidly absorbed into the stomach while other aspirin products, which may be enteric-coated, are absorbed just below the stomach (in the duodenum). This is because the enteric-coating is designed to disintegrate in the acid environment of the stomach.

There are a range of aspirin and pain relief products available at our online pharmacy, so make sure you read which may be the most suitable for you.