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Aspirin Facts, Warnings and Information

What is Aspirin?

Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is a salicylate drug often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory.

Aspirin has been used to reduce pain and inflammation for over a century. Evidence is rapidly growing that supports aspirin's use in lowering the rates of heart attacks, stroke, colon cancer and even Alzheimer's disease.

The main undesirable side effects of aspirin are gastrointestinal distress, including stomach ulcers and bleeding, and tinnitus, especially in higher doses.

Aspirin Uses

An over the counter medication, aspirin typically used to reduce swelling, redness, pain, and fever, caused by various problems such as arthritis, infections, and headaches. In some cases, a physician will prescribe aspirin as a method for treating gout. Various studies have shown that aspirin can prevent blood clots as well as a stroke or heart attack. Some studies conducted have shown that aspirin can also work in preventing some forms of cancers.

Aspirin comes in several forms powders, tablets, suppositories, chewable tablets, capsules, and extended-release tablets. While it is an over the counter medication, readily available for use, if your physician prescribes aspirin for your treatment, you will need to take it exactly as prescribed.

While, aspirin works well to relieve pain and has been shown to reduce instances of stroke, heart attack, and even some cancers, you need to make sure you know the downsides of taking aspirin as well. Some people develop severe allergies to aspirin, which include ibuprofen, and should be discussed with your physician.

Aspirin Facts

2 Aspirin tabletsAspirin officially has a place in the Smithsonian Institute and is a mainstay in just about every family's medicine cabinet and first aid kit.

A recent study suggests as many as one percent of air travelers suffer from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) due to prolonged sitting during long flights. It's been suggested that a low-dose aspirin taken before traveling any distance longer than four hours can reduce the potential for DVT.

A daily low-dose aspirin therapy is commonly prescribed to adults to prevent heart attack and stroke and help improve blood flow to the heart. The National Heart Foundation reports that patients who took low-dose aspirin had a 26% reduction in the risk of a non fatal heart attack, 25% reduction in the risk of stroke and 13% reduction in the risk of death compared to similar patients who didn't take aspirin. In the event a heart attack or stroke does occur, taken immediately, aspirin can reduce their severity.

Small daily doses of aspirin have proven to be effective in reducing the chances of mini-strokes (in which clogged blood vessels prevent sufficient oxygen from reaching the brain).

The latest advancement in aspirin involves a no-swallow tablet that dissolves through the mouth, thus reducing the risk of ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Aspirin may reduce the risk of heart disease in individuals with diabetes.

Evidence shows aspirin can slow the progression of colon cancer, and preliminary data suggests that regular aspirin use may prevent certain cancers from occurring at all.

Population-based studies report that an aspirin a day will either slow the progression or even prevent dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease.

There is some evidence that aspirin may increase gall bladder motility and thus be effective in treating gall bladder disease.

An Australian study suggests that aspirin may guard against severe periodontal disease by protecting the fibers and ligaments around the teeth.

Fast Absorbing Aspirin

Look for a product that dissolves in the mouth instead of the stomach. This allows the aspirin to enter the blood stream within three to five minutes versus the 30 minutes to an hour for regular aspirin, quickly inhibiting platelet aggregation (blood thinning).

An acceptable dosage for 'low dose' aspirin is about 81 milligrams.

Look for a sugar free product that can be safely used by diabetics.

50% of regular low dose aspirin users do not receive noteworthy blood thinning benefits. Make sure your product claims exceptional anti-clotting cardio protection.

Dosage of Aspirin

For adults doses of 300 to 1000 mg are generally taken four times a day for fever or arthritis, with a maximum dose of 4000 mg (4 grams) a day. The correct dose of aspirin depends on the disease or condition that is being treated.

For the prevention of myocardial infarction in someone with documented or suspected coronary artery disease, doses as low as 75 mg daily (or possibly even lower) are sufficient.

Cautions and Side Effects of taking Aspirin

As with all medications, aspirin has some side effects. Common side effects include stomach pain, vomiting, or nausea. Severe side effects includes ringing of the ears, hearing loss, black or bloody stools, skin rash, drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, or breathing issues. Any of these severe side effects are cause to immediately contact your physician.

In children under 16 years of age, aspirin is no longer used to control flu-like symptoms or the symptoms of chickenpox, due to the risk of Reye's syndrome.

In some cases, large doses of aspirin typically found in over the counter aspirin products can cause stomach discomfort or gastrointestinal bleeding. For this reason, a low dose, fast absorbing aspirin product is recommended.

If you are a diabetic patient, you should know that if you are taking regular strength aspirin at eight tablets or more each day, it could have an affect on your urine sugar test results. You should speak with your physician about how you should properly monitor you sugar when taking an aspirin regimen.

Talk to your physician about any possible disorders or ailments you currently have before taking aspirin such as nasal polyps, Hodgkin's disease, gout, liver disease, kidney disease, asthma, ulcers, bleeding problems, hemophilia, diabetes, or anemia.

Pregnant women within their third trimester or those that are breastfeeding should avoid taking aspirin.

Some drugs might have adverse interactions when combined with aspirin. Some of these drugs include vitamins, valproic acid, Azid, methrotrexate, or any other medications prescribed for high blood pressure, gout, or diabetes. Some others include prednisone, hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, cortisone, and blood thinners.

One week prior to any type of surgery, which includes dental work, you should avoid taking aspirin, because aspirin works to thin the blood. Aspirin causes prolonged bleeding after operations for up to 10 days.

Non-coated aspirin can cause stomach upset so you should take it with food or milk.

People living in tropical-weather countries should discontinue use while symptoms or suspicion of Dengue Fever exist, due to an irreversible syndrome relating aspirin and that disease.

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