acetylsalicylic acid, Aspirin, Ecotrin
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: aspirin
BRAND NAMES: Aspirin, Arthritis Foundation Safety Coated Aspirin, Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Children's Aspirin, Ecotrin, and many others.
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Aspirin is a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) effective in treating fever, pain, and inflammation in the body. It also prevents blood clots (i.e., is antithrombotic). As a group, NSAIDs are non-narcotic relievers of mild to moderate pain of many causes, including headaches, injury, menstrual cramps, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions. Other members of this class include ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumetone (Relafen) and several others. They all work by reducing the levels of prostaglandins, chemicals that are released when there is inflammation and that cause pain and fever. NSAIDs block the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain, and fever are reduced. Inhibition of prostaglandins also reduces the function of platelets and the ability of blood to clot. Aspirin, inhibits the function of platelets in a manner that is different from other NSAIDs, and its antithrombotic effects last longer than other NSAIDs. This is why aspirin is used for preventing heart attacks and strokes. The FDA approved Bayer aspirin in June 1965.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Chewable tablets: 81mg; caplets and tablets: 325mg, 500mg; enteric coated (safety coated) caplets and tablets: 325mg, 500mg.
STORAGE: Aspirin should be stored at room temperature, 20-25 C (68-77 F), in a sealed container, avoiding moisture.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Aspirin is used for the treatment of inflammation, fever, and pain that results from many forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's syndrome, and osteoarthritis, as well as for soft tissue injuries, such as tendinitis and bursitis. Aspirin also is used for rapid relief of mild to moderate pain and fever in other inflammatory conditions. Because aspirin inhibits the function of platelets for prolonged periods of time, it is used for reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
DOSING: Aspirin should be taken with food. Doses range from 50 mg to 6000 mg daily depending on the use.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Aspirin is associated with several suspected or probable interactions that affect the action of other drugs. The following examples are the most common of the suspected interactions.
NSAIDs may increase the blood levels of lithium (Eskalith) by reducing the excretion of lithium by the kidneys. Increased levels of lithium may lead to lithium toxicity.
Aspirin may reduce the blood pressure lowering effects of blood pressure medications. This may occur because prostaglandins have a role in the regulation of blood pressure.
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