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Aspirin

( acetylsalicylic acid )

 

Purpose

To relieve pain; to reduce inflammation.

 

Indications

Pain relief for osteoarthritis and local conditions such as bursitis. Anti-inflammatory agent for rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Dosage

For pain, two 5-grain (325 gram) tablets (or 10 grains, 650 mg) every four hours as needed. For anti-inflammatory action, three to four tablets, four to six times daily( with medical supervision if these doses are continued for longer than one week). The time to maximum effect is thirty minutes to one hour for pain and one to six weeks for the anti-inflammatory action.

 

Side effects

Common effects include nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, and decreased hearing. Each of these is reversible within a few hours if the drug dosage id decreased. Allergic reactions are rare but include development of nasal polyps and wheezing. Prolonged nausea or vomiting that persists after the drug is stopped for a few days suggest the possibility of a stomach ulcer caused by the irritation of the aspirin. with an overdose of aspirin, there is very rapid and heavy breathing, and there can even be unconsciousness and coma. Be sure to keep aspirin (and all medications) out of reach of all children.

 

Aspirin has some predictable effects that occur in just about everyone. blood loss through the bowel occurs in almost all persons who take aspirin, because the blood clotting function is altered, the stomach is irritated, and aspirin acts as a minor blood-thinning agent. Up to 10% of these taking high doses of aspirin will have some abnormalities in the function of the liver; although these are seldom noticed by the person taking aspirin, they can be identified by blood tests. Since serious liver damage does not occur, routine blood tests to check for this complication are not required. Hospitalization for gastrointestinal hemorrhage occurs in about 1% of people taking full doses for one year.

 

Special hints

If you note ringing in the ears or ears or a decrease in your hearing, then decrease the dose of aspirin. Your dose is just a little bit too high for the best results.

 

If you notice nausea, an upset stomach, or vomiting, there are a variety of things you can do :

Try spreading out the dose with more frequent use of smaller numbers of pills. Perhaps instead of taking four tablets four times a day, you might take three tablets five or six times a day.

 

Try taking the aspirin after meals or after an antacid, which will coat the stomach and provide some protection.

 

You can change brands and see if the nausea is related to the particular brand of aspirin you were using.

 

You can try coated aspirin (Ecotrin). These are absorbed variably, but are often effective in protecting the stomach and decreasing nausea.

 

Although it is a nuisance, you can often get good relief from the nausea by taking a suspension of aspirin rather than the tablet. put the aspirin in a half glass of water and swirl it until the aspirin particles are suspended in the water. Fill another glass half full of water, drink the suspended aspirin, and wash it down with the other glass of water. This is an effective and inexpensive way to avoid nausea once you get used to the taste.

 

Keep track of your aspirin and always tell your doctor exactly how much you are taking. aspirin is so familiar that sometimes we forget we are taking a drug. Be as careful with aspirin as you would be with any drug. In particular, you may want to ask your doctor about aspirin's interactions with the newer anti-inflammatory agents, with probenecid, or with blood-thinning agents, if you are taking those drugs. Pay special attention to your stomach. So many drugs cause irritation to the stomach lining, and the combined effects of two drugs that irritate the stomach lining may be grater than the effects of the two drugs taken individually; again, the fewer medications at one time the better. Every time you talk to a doctor, be sure to describe all the drugs you are taking, not just your arthritis drugs. It is wise to keep a list of all the drugs you take and have it ready to show any doctor you visit, including your dentist.

         
         

     

         

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