Brand names: Ascriptin, Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin, Empirin and others.

Class of drugs: Platelet aggregation inhibitor (blood thinner).

Why is aspirin prescribed?

Aspirin helps prevent blood from clotting after transplant surgery.

How is aspirin given?

Aspirin comes in many forms, including suppositories, capsules, gum, and effervescent tablets. Your doctor can help you decide which form is best for you and will tell you how much to take at each dose. If regular aspirin tablets cause a bad taste or aftertaste, burning in the throat, or are difficult to swallow, try taking coated tablets. Take regular, coated, and controlled release aspirin tablets and capsules with a full glass of water or milk and after meals to avoid stomach upset. Chewable aspirin tablets may be chewed, crushed, dissolved in a liquid, or swallowed whole. Drink a full glass of water, milk, or fruit juice immediately after taking the tablets. An oral liquid form of aspirin can be prepared by dissolving effervescent tablets (Alka-Seltzer) according to the directions on the package.

Are there any special precautions I should follow before taking aspirin?

Before taking aspirin, tell your doctor:

  • About any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you are currently taking, including any herbal medicines or supplements.
  • If you have anemia, allergies, diabetes, a history of ulcers, gout, or Hodgkin’s disease.

What special instructions should I follow while using this drug?

Take aspirin only as directed. It will not work properly if you take less than directed. Taking more than directed might increase the chance of bleeding or other serious side effects. Aspirin might increase the risk of serious bleeding. If you need surgery or certain types of dental work, you might need to stop taking this medicine about 5 to 10 days ahead of time. Do not stop taking this medicine for any reason without first checking with the doctor who told you to take it.

What are the common side effects?

The most common side effects of aspirin include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea

When should I call my doctor?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Blood in the eyes
  • Bloody urine
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools
  • Bruising or purple areas on the skin
  • Coughing up blood
  • Decreased alertness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache (severe)
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Nosebleeds
  • Paralysis or problems with coordination
  • Stammering or other difficulty in speaking
  • Heavy bleeding or oozing from cuts or wounds
  • Unusually heavy or unexpected menstrual bleeding
  • Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Tightness in the chest

Report the following side effects to your doctor as soon as possible:

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Cramping or burning (severe)
  • Back or chest pain
  • Flushing
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching
  • Fever without other signs of infection
  • Yellow eyes or skin

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is close to when you are scheduled to take your next dose, skip the missed dose and proceed with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.

What storage conditions are necessary for this drug?

Aspirin should be kept in its original container, tightly sealed and away from children. The tablet form should be stored at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom), and out of direct sunlight. Throw away any medicine that is outdated or unused.


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