Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid is a type of medication that comes under the category of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acts on the body by reducing the formation of certain substances called prostaglandins.
- Prostaglandins are a type of fatty compound (lipids) having hormone-like action in the body.
- They regulate various bodily functions, such as inflammation, blood clotting, and induction of labor.
- There are various kinds of prostaglandins in the body.
Prostaglandins are formed by the action of enzymes called cyclooxygenases. Aspirin reduces the action of these enzymes, thereby lowering prostaglandin levels.
Aspirin reduces or inhibits the activities of those prostaglandins that promote pain, swelling, fever, and blood clotting. By blocking these effects of prostaglandins, aspirin helps lower the symptoms of inflammation.
Aspirin prevents platelet aggregation or the process in which platelets collect to form a clot. By lowering blood clotting, aspirin helps promote blood flow in the body. Due to its property of reducing blood clotting tendency, aspirin is also called a blood thinner.
7 side effects of aspirin
The seven common side effects of aspirin include:
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- Mild headache
- Increased tendency to bruising
- Aspirin-induced asthma
Some people are allergic to aspirin and may develop side effects, such as hives, breathing difficulty, rash, and swelling over the face, lips, tongue, and neck. Immediate medical help must be sought if any of these symptoms appear.
Other signs for which urgent medical attention is needed include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bleeding from any site including blood in stools, bright red or coffee-ground vomiting, or black, tarry stools
- Chest pain
- Fast breathing
- Ringing in the ears
- Vision disturbances
- Cold, clammy skin
- Decreased urination
- Altered mental status
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
11 uses of aspirin
Aspirin is used for various conditions, such as:
- Common cold
- Rheumatic fever
- Muscle aches
- Unstable angina
- Heart attack
- Following certain cardiac surgeries, such as coronary artery bypass grafting, stenting, and carotid endarterectomy
Who should not take aspirin?
Aspirin should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. It should not be given to those younger than 16 years. Aspirin can cause a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome. It is a severe form of inflammation of the liver and brain.
Aspirin must be used with caution in people with asthma, kidney diseases, liver diseases, uncontrolled high blood pressure, dehydration, and certain bowel conditions (such as chronic diarrhea and bowel obstruction).
A person must consult the doctor if they are pregnant or taking any medications, such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications including diuretics (water pills), or other blood thinners (such as warfarin), before taking aspirin. Pregnant women and those planning to get pregnant must ask their doctor before taking aspirin.
If a person is planning to undergo surgery or any dental procedure while on aspirin, they must discuss it with their doctor first because it can increase the risk of bleeding.
Aspirin must not be used by those who are allergic to it.
Other conditions in which aspirin must be avoided include:
- Bleeding or clotting disorders (such as hemophilia and G6PD deficiency)
- Bleeding ulcers in the stomach or intestines
- Breastfeeding mothers
- Ulcerative colitis
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RxList. Aspirin. https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_aspirin/drugs-condition.htm
US Food and Drug Administration. Aspirin for Reducing Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke: Know the Facts. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/safe-daily-use-aspirin/aspirin-reducing-your-risk-heart-attack-and-stroke-know-facts
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aspirinAspirin (Aspirin, Arthritis Foundation Safety Coated Aspirin, Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Children's Aspirin, Ecotrin, and many others) is a NSAID used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation in the body that results from forms of arthritis, and soft tissue injuries. Aspirin is also used for decreasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Side effects, drug interactions, pregnancy information, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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aspirinAspirin (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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