- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: aspirin
Brand Names: Bayer Buffered Aspirin, Durlaza, ASA, Bayer Children's Aspirin, Bayer Women's Low Dose, Bayer Low Adult Strength, Bayer Advanced Aspirin, Bayer Extra Strength, Bayer Extra Strength Plus, Bufferin, Bufferin Extra Strength, Ecotrin, Ecotrin Maximum Strength, Extended Release Bayer 8-Hour Caplets, Extra Strength Bayer Plus Caplets, Genuine Bayer Aspirin, Halfprin DSC, Maximum Bayer Aspirin, St. Joseph Adult Chewable Aspirin, St. Joseph Regular Strength, acetylsalicylic acid, Vazalore
Drug Classes: Antiplatelet Agents, Cardiovascular; Antiplatelet Agents, Hematologic; NSAIDs; Salicylates
What is aspirin, and what is it used for?
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is one of the oldest and most commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating mild-to-moderate pain, fever, and inflammation from various causes. Because aspirin inhibits platelet aggregation and blood clotting, it is also used as prophylaxis to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke that occur from blood clots blocking the blood vessels.
Aspirin works by inhibiting the activity of cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2), two enzymes that are essential for the biosynthesis of prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is a substance that has multiple functions in the body and plays a prominent role in inflammation and the resultant symptoms of pain and fever. Blocking the production of prostaglandin also inhibits the release of thromboxane A2, a substance that platelets produce to make the blood clot.
Aspirin’s effects are dose-dependent; aspirin inhibits clotting (antithrombotic) at low doses (75 to 81 mg/day), relieves pain (analgesic) and reduces fever (antipyretic) at intermediate doses (650 mg to 4 g/day), and it is anti-inflammatory at high doses (4 to 8 g/day). Use at high doses, however, poses the risk of salicylate toxicity that can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, and digestive issues.
Aspirin is available over-the-counter and on prescription in different forms and strengths under many different brand names. Aspirin is used in the treatment of the following conditions:
- Pain or fever from any cause
- Acute coronary syndrome
- Prevention of primary atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD)
- Post-revascularization procedures such as:
- Ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack
- Inflammation in rheumatologic diseases, including:
- Do not take/administer aspirin if you are allergic to:
- Do not take/administer aspirin if you have any of the following conditions:
- Bleeding gastrointestinal ulcers
- Ulcerative colitis
- Hemolytic anemia from pyruvate kinase (PK) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
- Nasal polyps associated with asthma
- Coagulation/bleeding disorders, including
- Do not administer to children or teenagers for viral infections because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome
What are the side effects of aspirin?
Side effects of aspirin include:
- Skin swelling
- Central nervous system (CNS) alteration
- Skin problems
- Gastrointestinal (GI) pain, ulceration, and bleeding
- Liver damage
- Hearing loss
- Platelet aggregation inhibition
- Premature hemolysis
- Pulmonary edema (salicylate-induced, non-cardiogenic)
- Kidney damage
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of aspirin?
- 81 mg
- 325 mg
- 500 mg
- 75 mg
- 81 mg
- 81 mg
- 162 mg
- 325 mg
- 650 mg
Gum, chewing, oral
- 227 mg
The extended-release capsule (Durlaza [Rx]) (adult only)
- 162.5 mg
Pain and Fever
- Adults: 325-650 mg orally/rectally once every 4-6 hours as needed
- Controlled/extended/delayed-release products (enteric-coated): 650-1300 mg orally once every 8 hours; not to exceed 3.9 g/day
Acute Coronary Syndrome
- 160-325 mg orally; chew non-enteric-coated tablet upon presentation (within minutes of symptoms)
- If unable to take orally, may give 300-600 mg rectal suppository
Maintenance (secondary prevention)
- 75-81 mg orally once/day indefinitely (preferred dose); may be taken as 81-325 mg/day
- Regimen may depend on co-administered drugs or comorbid conditions
- Co-administered with ticagrelor: 81 mg orally once/day
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
- Adjunctive aspirin therapy to support reperfusion with primary PCI (with or without fibrinolytic therapy)
- Preoperative dose: 162-325 mg orally before the procedure
- Maintenance: 81 mg orally once/day indefinitely (preferred dose) may give 81-325 mg/day
- The regimen may depend on co-administered drugs or comorbid conditions
- Co-administered with ticagrelor: 81 mg orally once/day
Primary and Secondary Prevention
Durazo: Indicated to reduce the risk of death and heart attack (myocardial infarction/MI) in patients with chronic CAD (e.g., history of MI, unstable angina, or chronic stable angina); also indicated to reduce the risk of death and recurrent stroke in patients who have had an ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
The extended-release capsule (Durlaza [Rx]): 162.5 mg orally once/day
Use immediate-release aspirin, not extended-release capsule in situations where a rapid onset of action is required (such as acute treatment of myocardial infarction or before percutaneous coronary intervention)
Ischemic Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack
- 50-325 mg/day orally within 48 hours of stroke or TIA, then 75-100 mg/day orally
- Up to 3 g/day orally in divided doses
- 3 g/day orally in divided doses; increased as needed for anti-inflammatory efficacy (target plasma salicylate, 150-300 mcg/mL)
- 3.6-5.4 g/day orally in divided doses; monitor serum concentrations
Colorectal Cancer (Off-label)
- 600 mg/day orally
- Decreases risk of developing hereditary colorectal cancer (i.e., Lynch syndrome) by 60% if taken daily for at least 2 years
- CrCl greater than 10 mL/min: Dose adjustment not necessary
- CrCl less than 10 mL/min: Not recommended
Severe liver disease: Not recommended
Pain and fever
Children under 12 years:
- 10-15 mg/kg orally once every 4 hours, up to 60-80 mg/kg/day
Children 12 years and older:
- 325-650 mg orally/rectally once every 4-6 hours as needed
Controlled/extended/delayed-release products (enteric-coated): 650-1300 mg orally once every 8 hours; not to exceed 3.9 g/day
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Children less than 25 kg: 60-100 mg/kg/day orally divided every 6-8 hours (maintain serum salicylate at 150-300 mcg/mL)
- Children 25 kg or more: 2.4-3.6 g/day
- Febrile phase: 80-100 mg/kg/day orally divided every 6 hours for up to 14 days (48-72 hours after fever abates)
- Maintenance: 3-6 mg/kg/day orally in single dose
Toxic dose: 200 mg/kg
What drugs interact with aspirin?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
Severe interactions of aspirin include:
Serious interactions of aspirin include:
- ketorolac intranasal
- measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine, live
- varicella virus vaccine live
Aspirin has moderate interactions with at least 257 different drugs.
Aspirin has mild interactions with at least 120 different drugs.
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Aspirin is a pregnancy category D drug.
Avoid chronic or intermittent high doses of aspirin during pregnancy. Use aspirin only in life-threatening emergencies in the third trimester when no safer drug is available. There is positive evidence of human fetal risk. It is especially important that the patient does not use aspirin during the last 3 months of pregnancy unless specifically directed to do so by the doctor, because it may cause problems in the unborn child or complications during delivery.
- Aspirin may affect maternal and newborn hemostasis mechanisms, leading to an increased risk of hemorrhage
- High doses may also increase perinatal mortality by intrauterine growth restriction and teratogenic effects
- Near term, aspirin may prolong gestation and labor
- Premature closure of the ductus arteriosus may occur if used near term, with use of full-dose aspirin
FDA warns against the use of NSAIDs in pregnancy at 20 weeks or later because they can result in low amniotic fluid.
Seek advice of health professional before using OTC aspirin during pregnancy
What else should I know about aspirin?
- Aspirin should be discontinued if you develop tinnitus.
- Individuals who consume three or more alcoholic drinks should be aware of bleeding risks associated with heavy alcohol use while taking aspirin.
- Aspirin has gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, and physicians and patients should remain alert for symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding, even in the absence of previous GI symptoms.
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Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat mild-to-moderate pain, fever, and inflammation from various causes. Aspirin inhibits platelet aggregation and blood clotting, and is also used as prophylaxis to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke that occur from blood clots. Do not take aspirin if you have bleeding gastrointestinal ulcers, ulcerative colitis, or hemorrhoids. Consult your doctor before taking aspirin if pregnant, as there is fetal risk when taken in the last trimester of pregnancy.
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What Does Aspirin Do to Your Body?
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How Do You Know If You Have a Blood Clot in Your Leg?
Blood clots are clumps of blood formed when the blood changes from a fluid to a semisolid form. When a blood clot is formed in one of the large veins in the legs or arms, the condition is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A blot clot in your leg can hamper the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. An untreated DVT may cause the clot to grow bigger and break in small pieces that can travel to other organs, such as the heart and lungs, causing serious consequences.
What Is the Most Common Treatment for Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is long-lasting and persistent and lasts for months or years. The most common treatments for chronic pain are NSAIDs, acetaminophen, COX-2 inhibitors, antidepressants and anti-seizure medicines, and opioids.
What are the 5 Warning Signs of a Stroke?
What is a stroke and what should you do if someone you know has one? Learn the signs of stroke and what to do if you think you're having one.
How Can You Prevent a Stroke From Happening?
Strokes occur due to the obstruction of blood flow to the brain. Some irreversible factors, such as age and family history, are likely to increase the risk of stroke. These factors cannot be modified. However, many such preventable or modifiable factors can help prevent strokes.
Does New Daily Persistent Headache Ever Go Away?
New daily persistent headache (NDPH) does not have a specific treatment, however, certain medication, behavioral therapy and stress management may help patients get better.
Aneurysm vs Stroke: Which Is Worse?
What is the difference between an aneurysm and a stroke?
What Does a Blood Clot Feel Like?
Blood clots are semi-solid masses of blood that may be immobile (thrombosis) and impede blood flow or dislodge to other parts of the body (embolism). Deep vein clots, if dislodged, can travel through veins through the lungs to the arteries in the lungs. This is referred to as a pulmonary embolism and can be deadly. Blood clots can also lead to a heart attack or stroke.
How Can I Strengthen My Arm and Hand After a Stroke?
Strengthening your arm or hands after a stroke is helpful for both pain treatments and the prevention of further injury. There are therapies that you might help you strengthen your arm.
What Is the Best Essential Oil for Headaches?
Using essential oils to help relieve pain from headaches depends on the type, such as peppermint and lavender oil is best for migraine relief.
Can NMO Cause Headaches?
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) also known as Devic disease is a rare yet severe disease. In this condition, antibodies (proteins) are produced against the cells in the central nervous system. It specifically affects the myelin, which is the insulation sheath around the nerves.
What Triggers Tension Headaches?
A tension headache is the most common type of headache seen in adults. A tension headache is also called a tension-type headache (TTH) or stress headaches. It is usually associated with muscle tightness in the head, scalp or neck. A tension headache is so common that we often consider it a normal occurrence. There are two types of tension headaches: Episodic tension headaches and chronic tension headaches.
Types of Strokes
A stroke, also called cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when the blood supply is cut off or reduced to a part of the brain. There are five main types of strokes, and the causes and clinical presentation of each of them vary
What Kind of Headache Comes With COVID?
COVID-19 headache is described as a really tight, squeezing sensation that gets worse with coughing and physical activity.
Pain Management: Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is chronic pain resulting from injury to the nervous system. The injury can be to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or the peripheral nervous system (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord).
A spinal tap or an epidural block can cause a spinal headache. In these procedures, a needle is placed within the fluid-filled space surrounding the spinal cord. This creates a passage for the spinal fluid to leak out, changing the fluid pressure around the brain and spinal cord. A spinal headache may occur up to five days after the procedure is performed. Such a headache may be prevented with bed rest after a procedure.
When to Call the Doctor for Your Headache?
Almost everyone must have experienced a headache at some point in their life. The most common reasons for your headache are migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. Headache is also most often experienced in some common viral infections such as the flu or even in something as simple as the cold.
Warning Signs of a Stroke
Signs of a stroke may sometimes go unnoticed initially and gradually progress. Sometimes, the signs of a stroke may appear suddenly.
Headaches in Children
Kids get headaches and migraines too. Many adults with headaches started having them as kids, in fact, 20% of adult headache sufferers say their headaches started before age 10, and 50% report their headaches started before age 20.
What Could Headache Be a Sign of?
Medically, headache is not a sign; it is a symptom. It can occur as a separate entity (primary headache) or as a symptom of various underlying conditions (secondary headache).
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Blood Clot
- Chronic Pain
- Spinal Headache
- Migraine & Headache Q & A
- Sinus Headache
- Chronic Pain: Implantable Pain Control Devices
- Pain Management
- Tension Headache
- Headaches: Living With Chronic Daily Headaches
- Cluster Headache
- Mind-Body-Pain Connection: How Does It Work?
- Chronic Pain and Fatigue - What You Can Do
- Headaches and Migraine: Easing the Pain -- Seymour Diamond, MD
- Pain Management: Routes to Relief
- NSAIDs: FDA Warning on Bextra, Celebrex
- Chronic Pain Treatments for Mind and Body
- Pain Management: Dealing with Back Pain
- Pain Management: Painkiller Addiction
- Meditation for Stress and Pain with Karen Eastman, Ph.D., Lobsang Rapgay, Ph.D., and Lonnie Zeltz
- Pain: Managing the Pains and Aches of Office Life
- Chronic Pain: Dealing With Back and Neck Pain
- Pain Awareness and Management
- Headaches FAQs
- Stroke FAQs
- Pain FAQs
- Migraine Headaches FAQs
- Migraine Headache Treatment
- What Is a Massive Stroke?
- Surviving a Stroke
- Alzheimer's Disease - NSAID Protection?
- Pulmonary Embolism -Lung Blood Clot Risk Factors In Women
- Heatstroke - Hot Time!...Summer In The City
- Cancer,Stroke & Heart Attack Risks- ReducedThrough Walking
- Heart Health- Little Aspirin A Day Stops Big Heart Attack!
- Ramipril, Heart Disease, Stroke & Diabetes
- Heart Disease & Stroke - Progress
- Higher Chance of Blood Clots Forming?
- tissue valve and taking aspirin?
- Chondroitin & Glucosamine & NSAID's
- Pain Management: OTC NSAIDs - Doctors Dialogue
- Proven measures to prevent heart attacks and strokes?
- Pain Management Over-The-Counter
- Gout & Aspirin
- Heart Disease Stroke and Diabetes
- Diabetes - An Aspirin A Day
- Pain (Acute and Chronic)
- The Cox-2 Inhibitors Controversy: Q&A with Dr. Shiel
- Painful Periods Related to Stress
- Headache: Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Headaches
- Stroke: Recognizing a Stroke - Three Commands for the Victim
- Pain and Stress: Endorphins: Natural Pain and Stress Fighters
- How Pie Prevents Blood Clots
- TIA (Mini Stroke) Symptoms: A Trip to the ER
- Brain Cancer Symptoms: Headaches and Seizures
- The Worst Headache of Your Life: Brain Hemorrhage Symptoms
- Doctors Answer Pain Questions
- Does Aspirin Make Ulcers Worse?
- Can Gallbladder Problems Cause Blood Clots?
- Do NSAIDs Interact With Coumadin?
- What Pain Medication Can I Take While on Warfarin?
- Can Headaches Be a Sign of Throat Cancer?
- Do Some People Have Higher Pain Tolerance?
- What Is Breakthrough Pain?
- How to Treat Rebound Headaches
- Does Aspirin Cause Gout?
- Can Alcohol Injections in the Eye Nerves Stop Headaches?
- Ibuprofen May Block Aspirin's Heart Benefits
- Is It a Stroke or a TIA (Mini Stroke)?
- Stroke Symptoms - Typical
- Stroke Treatment
- Pain Relievers and High Blood Pressure
- Stroke Symptoms
- Headaches from Food: The Connection
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.