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Aspirin is a medicine that can be used to lower fever and relieve mild to moderate pain, such as muscle aches, toothache, headaches, and flu. It can also be used to reduce pain and inflammation, such as arthritis.

Acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin is known as salicylates and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It works by blocking certain natural substances in your body to reduce pain and inflammation. Talk to your doctor before you give it to a child under the age of 12.

Your doctor may recommend a low dose prevent blood clotting. This effect reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.

If you have recently undergone surgery for blocked arteries, such as bypass surgery, carotid endarterectomy, and coronary artery stents – your doctor may recommend it at low doses as a blood thinner to prevent blood clotting. 

Medicine Production

Aspirin contains the chemical synthesis of salicylic acid, through acetylation with acetic anhydride. Its molecular weight is 180.16 g/mol. It is odourless and colourless like white crystals or crystalline powder.

An oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), it is absorbed well from your stomach and small intestine. It is a non-selective NSAIDs, since it inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase that converts arachidonic acid into prostaglandins and thromboxane permanently.

Aspirin Dosage Considerations

The suitable dosage for your condition depends on the type of aspirin, why you are taking it, and how well it helps reduce your symptoms. The following are dosing considerations for each type:

  • Tablets. Aspirin is usually available in the form of a 300 mg tablet. The usual dose is 1 or 2 tablets taken every 4 to 6 hours. Do not take more than 12 tablets in 24 hours – you should at least wait up to 4 hours between doses.
  • Suppositories. Aspirin suppository should be used by gently pushing it into the rectum. Suppositories contain 150 mg or 300 mg of aspirin.
    • 150 mg: The usual dose is 3 to 6 suppositories or 450 mg to 900 mg taken every 4 hours. The maximum dose is 24 of a 150 mg suppository in 24 hours.
    • 300 mg: The usual dose is 1 to 3 suppositories or 300 mg to 900 mg taken every 4 hours. The maximum dose is 12 of a 300 mg suppository in 24 hours.

If you need a dose of 450 mg or 750 mg, your doctor or pharmacist will provide instructions in the dosing considerations. Do not use more than 24 suppositories of 150 mg or 12 of 300 mg in 24 hours – you should at least wait up to 4 hours between doses.

  • For canker sores (mouth ulcers), apply about 1 cm or ½ inch of the gel on the affected area. In addition, apply it also on the inside of your mouth or gums every 3 hours as needed.
  • If you have dentures, remove them before applying the mouth gel. Then, wait about 30 minutes after applying the gel and before putting the dentures back in your mouth.

Guidelines for Aspirin

If you are taking aspirin for self-treatment, follow all directions listed on the product package. Be sure to take your aspirin as exactly directed by your doctor.

Aspirin can be taken by mouth. Do not lie down after, at least 10 minutes, consuming this medicine. If you have stomach upsets after the use of aspirin, you may take it with food or milk.

Swallow the enteric-coated aspirin tablet whole, do not crush or chew the tablets as it can worsen your stomach upset. In addition, do not crush or chew tablets or capsules, since it can release all the medicines at once and increase the risk of side effects. You may chew aspirin tablets if told so by your doctor. 

The dosage and duration of treatment are determined based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not take more medications or take them longer than recommended, unless recommended by your doctor. Consult a doctor or pharmacist if you have any further questions.

How Can Aspirin be Used

Several indications for aspirin may include:

  • Angina pectoris
  • Angina pectoris prophylaxis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Fever
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (LES)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease risk reduction
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ischemic stroke

Aspirin can be used for pain management by inhibiting the production of chemicals known as prostaglandins. Aspirin also chemically blocks your body’s pain signals.

Contraindications for Aspirin

Before taking aspirin, be sure to inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have certain allergies. Aspirin may contain an inactive ingredient that could cause allergic reactions or other problems. It should not be used if you have certain medical conditions.

In addition, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Uric acid
  • Nasal polyps
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Aspirin-induced asthma
  • Digestive problems, such as peptic ulcers, heartburn, and stomach upsets
  • Deficiency of certain enzymes, such as pyruvate kinase or G6PD
  • Blood clotting disorders, such as hemophilia, vitamin K deficiency, or low platelet count

Aspirin may cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco, especially when combined with aspirin can increase side effects. It is best to limit your consumption of alcohol and quit smoking.

Children and adolescents younger than 18 years old should not take aspirin if they have chickenpox, flu, or an undiagnosed illness or if they have recently received vaccination as taking aspirin may increase the risk of Reye’s syndrome.

Aspirin is not recommended for use in treating pain or reducing fever during pregnancy, as it can harm your unborn child or cause problems during labor.

Prior to a surgical procedure, be sure to let your doctor or dentist know that you are currently taking aspirin.

Side Effects of Aspirin

Aspirin can cause side effects, although it may not occur to everyone. The adverse reactions of aspirin may occur in more than 1 in 100 people.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience mild digestive problems or bleeding. You may get nosebleeds, bruise more easily, and the bleeding may take longer than usual to stop if you are injured.

Although it is rare, aspirin is also at risk of causing serious side effects. Call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Red, blistered and peeled skin
  • Blood in the urine, stools, or vomit
  • Swollen hands or feet (which may indicate water retention)
  • Joint pain affecting your hands and feet (which may indicate high levels of uric acid in the blood)
  • Yellow skin or yellowing of the whites of the eyes (which may indicate liver problems)

Make an appointment with your doctor or pharmacist through Smarter Health to find out more about the recommended dosage for aspirin and its proper use based on your condition. Smarter Health allows you to access health services whenever you need them.

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