Blood thinners or antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin, keep platelets from sticking together and clumping. Doctors may prescribe it as a pain reliever on some occasions. Millions of people throughout the world use these medications to treat a range of health issues.
- If you forget to take an aspirin dose, take it as soon as you remember. If your next dose is approaching, skip the missing dose. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a double dose.
- If you are using aspirin to treat pain and are not experiencing any discomfort, you may take your next dose at the next scheduled time.
- Blood thinners or antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin, have a longer half-life, which means their effects stay longer in the body. This indicates that skipping a dose of the medication will not harm health.
- However, this does not indicate that you can skip regular doses of the prescription or stop abruptly without your doctor’s advice. This can be harmful to your health.
- If you are taking aspirin to manage pain, it may not be serious if you missed a dose or two. If, however, you have been prescribed aspirin for serious disease conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, missing your doses can be serious and even fatal in some cases.
More than 80 percent of patients occasionally forget to take their prescription. Doctors should discuss with their patients what to do if a dose is missed. This strategy should be included as part of the information when a medicine is prescribed and supplied.
Consumer Medicine Information sheets include a section on what to do if a dose is missed. The regular usage of these sheets or comparable instructions may help you determine what to do if you miss a dosage.
What are the uses of aspirin?
Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or aspirin is a medicine that belongs to the following classes:
- Analgesics (pain relievers)
- Antipyretics (fever reducers)
- Anti-inflammatories (inflammation reducers)
- Platelet aggregation inhibitors (blood thinners)
ASA or aspirin is used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation in a variety of illnesses, including:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Common cold
- Menstrual pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sprains and strains
- Muscle pain
- Bursitis (inflammation of a bursa, a fluid-filled sac located around joints and near the bones)
- Following surgical and dental procedures, ASA is used when needed
Because of its antiplatelet (anticlotting) qualities, ASA may be taken under your doctor's supervision to:
- Prevent a first nonfatal heart attack in people who are at high risk of having a heart attack
- Stop a second heart attack or stroke
- Reduce the risk of complications in people suffering from unstable angina
- Reduce your chances of having a "mini-stroke" or a transient ischemic event (TIA)
- Reduce platelet clotting qualities in patients who have had carotid artery surgery to prevent TIA recurrence and in people who get hemodialysis through a silicone rubber access
- Prevent blood clots in patients who have had total hip replacement surgery
- Lessen the risk of dying from a heart attack
This drug may be offered under various brand names and in a variety of forms.
Your doctor may have prescribed this medication for a condition not specified in the article. Speak to your doctor if you have not discussed this or if you are unsure why you are taking this medicine. Do not discontinue this medicine without consulting your doctor.
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What are the side effects of aspirin?
The same principle that makes aspirin useful can cause issues. Because aspirin makes platelets less sticky, they are unable to perform their regular function of preventing aberrant bleeding. This can cause profuse bleeding in unexpected places across the body.
- This can result in hospitalization and the requirement for blood transfusions
- When this occurs in the brain, it may result in a stroke
- Some characteristics, such as a history of stomach ulcers and advanced age, make people more likely to bleed on aspirin.
If you develop symptoms of an aspirin allergy, seek emergency medical attention.
If you get any of the following symptoms, stop using this medication and contact your doctor right away:
- Ringing in your ears
- Rapid breathing
- Seizure (convulsions)
- Severe nausea
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody or tarry stools
- Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
The following are some of the most common aspirin adverse effects:
This is not an exhaustive list of possible adverse effects; more may arise. For medical advice on side effects, contact your doctor.
The essential question with aspirin is which is more important the potential preventive advantages or the risk of severe bleeding. People who have various risk factors that enhance their chances of having a heart attack or stroke (such as diabetes) usually have more advantages than disadvantages.
Your overall risk or benefit can be best analyzed by your doctor.
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Why is aspirin being prescribed to patients with COVID-19?
Blood-thinning drugs, such as aspirin, have been identified as a potentially life-saving treatment for COVID-19. Although it is still early, a rising body of research evidence suggests that COVID-19 causes anomalies in blood clotting, implying that blood-thinning medicines may play a role in treatment.
- Blood clots formed in 30 to 70 percent of patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care units (ICU). Blood clots appear to be linked to an increased chance of dying from COVID-19.
- Similarly, abnormal blood clotting markers are related to an increased chance of ICU admission and a worse overall prognosis.
- Because the rate of blood clotting is so high, all patients with COVID-19 admitted to the hospital may be administered a low dose of blood thinner medicine to prevent blood clots. Most hospitals require this prophylactic dose of blood thinner.
- Despite the use of low-dose blood thinners, many blood clots form in COVID-19. Hence, patients admitted to the hospital with severe COVID-19 should receive a higher-than-usual dose of blood thinners to prevent blood clots and enhance clinical outcomes is a debated topic.
- According to a recent study from the United States, patients with COVID-19 brought to the hospital and were administered full dose blood thinners had a higher likelihood of surviving and a lower chance of needing a ventilator.
- This conclusion, however, needs to be validated before a higher dose is widely advised.
- Fortunately, various research is currently underway worldwide to test and answer this topic.
- Several alternative blood thinner therapies are being tested in COVID-19 patients. Aspirin is frequently administered to those who are at high risk of having a stroke or having a heart attack. Studies are underway to identify if aspirin can lessen the risk of blood clotting in patients with COVID-19.
Blood thinners, such as aspirin, do not come without risks because they can raise the chance of bleeding. So, given the absence of definitive evidence supporting the benefit of high-dose blood thinners in all hospitalized patients with COVID-19, the decision to use higher doses of blood-thinning medicine outside of a clinical trial must be determined on an individual basis.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Cleveland Clinic. Should You Take Daily Aspirin? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/do-you-need-daily-aspirin-for-some-it-does-more-harm-than-good/
Cape Cod Healthcare. Don’t quit your aspirin therapy abruptly. https://www.capecodhealth.org/medical-services/heart-vascular-care/dont-quit-your-aspirin-therapy-abruptly/
University of Michigan. An aspirin a day, or not? Understanding the risks & benefits. https://ihpi.umich.edu/news/aspirin-day-or-not-understanding-risks-benefits
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Blood Thinner Pills: Your Guide to Using Them Safely. https://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/diagnosis-treatment/treatments/btpills/btpills.html
ClinicalTrials.gov. Protective Effect of Aspirin on COVID-19 Patients (PEAC). https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04365309
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