( acetylsalicylic acid )
To relieve pain; to reduce
Pain relief for osteoarthritis
and local conditions such as bursitis. Anti-inflammatory agent for
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.
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.
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
• 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