Aspirin: Learn about its uses, side effects, and proper dosage

Aspirin is a common medication, but what illnesses can it be used to treat? What are its side effects? What do you need to pay attention to when taking it? The Bowtie team will explore these questions in detail with you!
Author Bowtie Team
Date 2023-05-15
Updated on 2023-05-15
What is aspirin? What are its uses?What are the different forms of aspirin?What diseases/conditions is aspirin commonly used for?Side effects of aspirinWho should not take aspirin?Will aspirin develop resistance?How to take aspirin correctly?How to store aspirin?

What is aspirin? What are its uses?

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) belongs to the class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and contains salicylic acid. It can reduce inflammation, fever, and relieve pain. Studies have shown that aspirin can also thin the blood, reducing the risk of heart disease or stroke caused by blood clots in the brain, so it is also considered a blood thinner.

What are the different forms of aspirin?

Aspirin comes in various forms, including:

  • Tablets, such as Panadol
  • Powder
  • Oral gel
  • Effervescent tablets.

What diseases/conditions is aspirin commonly used for?

Aspirin is commonly used to treat the following diseases or conditions:

  • Headache
  • Cold or flu
  • Sprains and strains
  • Menstrual pain
  • Long-term arthritis and migraines
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (only applicable to some people)

Who is suitable to take aspirin?

Most people aged 16 or above can safely take aspirin.

Side effects of aspirin

Common side effects or sequelae of taking aspirin include:

  • Irritation of the stomach or intestines
  • Mild indigestion
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Bleeding more easily than normal

Less common side effects or sequelae of taking aspirin include:

  • Worsening of asthma
  • Vomiting
  • Gastritis
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Coughing up blood, blood in stool

Who should not take aspirin?

Children with Reye’s syndrome should not take aspirin to avoid serious liver and brain damage.The following people should consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking aspirin:

  • Have had an allergic reaction to aspirin or other painkillers such as ibuprofen
  • Have had a gastric ulcer
  • Recently had a stroke
  • Have hypertension
  • Have indigestion
  • Have asthma or other lung diseases
  • Have had clotting problems
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have gout
  • Have excessive menstrual bleeding
  • Are pregnant

Will aspirin develop resistance?

The reason for the development of resistance to long-term use of aspirin is that aspirin fails to reduce the production of thromboxane A2, thereby reducing platelet activation and aggregation. Studies have shown that the causes of resistance include insufficient drug dosage and drug interactions, and methods to reduce resistance include reducing the production and activity of thromboxane and blocking platelet activation pathways.

How to take aspirin correctly?

Taking aspirin pills as an example, the common dosage is 300mg, and the specific steps for taking aspirin are as follows:

DosageFrequencyMaximum dosage
1-2 pills per doseEvery 4-6 hours (not less than 4 hours between doses)Do not take more than 12 pills within 24 hours

In addition, taking aspirin requires the following precautions:

  • If you take aspirin to relieve short-term pain, such as toothache and menstrual pain, you generally only need to take it for 1 to 2 days.
  • If you buy aspirin on your own and need to take it for more than 3 days, you should consult a doctor or pharmacist.
  • If your aspirin is prescribed by a doctor, you should take it according to the doctor’s instructions.
  • If you need to take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen at the same time, remember to consult a doctor first, as they are all oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and taking them at the same time may increase the chance of side effects.
  • If you have any questions about the medication, dosage, or method of taking it, you should consult a doctor first.

How to store aspirin?

There are several key points to storing aspirin, including:

  1. Store in a sealed container
  2. Keep out of reach of children
  3. Store at room temperature and away from high temperatures and humidity
  4. If the medicine emits a strong vinegar smell, it should be discarded.
Is aspirin addictive?

If aspirin and other painkillers are used to treat headaches for a long time, it may cause “medication overuse headache (MOH)”, which means that the headache problem appears after the drug’s efficacy decreases. Generally, stopping the medication can solve the problem.

What is the difference between aspirin and paracetamol?

Aspirin is an oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that contains salicylic acid, which can reduce inflammation, reduce fever, and relieve pain. Paracetamol is one of the painkillers, which can block or regulate the chemical substances responsible for producing pain signals and body temperature in the brain, and is used to reduce fever and relieve pain.


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