Aspirin (also known as Acetylsalicyclic acid) is used to prevent blood clots from forming by making the blood less ‘sticky’. By preventing blood clots, this reduces the risk of you having a heart attack or stroke.
You may be given Aspirin if you have a blockage in your blood vessels or after heart surgery.
Aspirin can also be prescribed after Kawasaki disease (a condition whereby there is inflammation in the blood vessels) for four to six weeks, or longer if your doctor feels that it is necessary due to any abnormalities of the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients.
Aspirin may also be used at higher doses to relieve pain and fever or for anti-inflammatory purposes. Inform your healthcare professional if you wish to consume Aspirin to relieve pain or fever.
Aspirin may be started during pregnancy in certain women to prevent the development of pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that usually presents as high blood pressure with or without protein in the urine. Aspirin is normally taken at night for this purpose.
Inform your healthcare professional if these side effects do not go away and are bothersome to you.
Patients taking Aspirin may have increased risk of bleeding. If you experience any serious bleeding, you should stop your medication and inform your healthcare professional immediately. Serious bleeding may include one or more of the following:
Very rarely, Aspirin may cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious condition that affects the brain and liver in young children. However, this has only been mostly seen in children less than 5 years of age, who have had a viral illness (chickenpox or flu) or are on prolonged, high-dose Aspirin. Symptoms of Reye’s syndrome include:
See your doctor immediately if you (or your child) experience these symptoms.
Aspirin may also cause allergic reactions. The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.
Inform your healthcare professional if:
If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double your dose or use extra medication to make up for the missed dose.
Throw away all expired medications.
Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.