Everyone knows about aspirin. It is a medicine that has made a permanent place in every medicine cabinet and even first aid kits. Aspirin is a medicine that is taken to relieve mild pain, inflammation and fever. It is also used for the heart in the form of daily therapy, but should be followed only when advised by a doctor. Studies also suggest that aspirin helps in preventing Alzheimer's disease and colon cancer. This drug can be swallowed with water, dissolved in water, and now even directly dissolved in the mouth. This invention has come into being because one side effect of a high dosage of aspirin is that it may cause gastrointestinal disorders including stomach ulcers and bleeding. When dissolved in the mouth, it reduces the risk of such a problem.
Aspirin is an over-the-counter medicine that you may use to relieve different pains and aches. Apart from relieving pains and aches, aspirin can also be consumed for a variety of other conditions. In such cases, it will be prescribed by your doctor, and you will have to follow the exact dosage as recommended by him/her.
- Aspirin has been used in some cases to treat gout.
- It is used to treat the swelling and redness caused due to arthritis and other infections.
- Recently, aspirin has been prescribed to promote heart health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. This is because it can help reduce the chances of blood clotting, thereby improving the flow of blood to the heart. For such patients, the dosage of aspirin is low, and studies have shown that people who take it on a regular basis have a lower risk of a stroke and subsequent death. Furthermore, if those who have a heart attack take aspirin immediately, there is a possibility that the severity of the attack may reduce.
- Even those who are at a risk for heart disease due to diabetes can lower this risk upon taking this drug daily.
- Research has shown that when aspirin is taken daily, the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease is reduced.
- Even though it has a negative effect on a sensitive stomach, a daily dose has been found to reduce the possibility of developing colon cancer and other types of cancer. It may also be used to treat gallbladder disease.
- Another benefit of taking aspirin is that it may protect the fibers around the teeth and thus prevent periodontal disease.
Aspirin is available in a variety of forms which include chewy tablets, powders, capsules, and regular tablets. Though it is always advisable that the right dosage be prescribed by a doctor, the following are safe amounts of aspirin to consume as suggested by experts:
Dosage for Aches and Fever:
For those suffering from these conditions, including aches caused by arthritis, adults may consume anywhere between 300-1000 mg, four times a day. However, the dose differs depending on the sensitivity of the person to aspirin, and the purpose for which it is being consumed.
Dosage for Heart Health:
For those who are taking aspirin for the purpose of maintaining heart health, the dosage can begin with a minimum of 75 mg daily, and increase up to 325 mg, again, depending on the person's susceptibility to heart disease.
When to Avoid Aspirin
Taking aspirin can cause certain side effects. Also, it should be avoided when you suffer from one or more of these conditions.
- When on daily aspirin therapy, if you suddenly stop taking it, it can cause a rebound effect and lead to a heart problem by creating blood clots.
- As mentioned before, a large dosage may cause gastrointestinal disorders and bleeding.
- Certain other side effects of aspirin are vomiting and nausea. The side effects can get severe and appear in the form of loss of hearing, rashes on the skin, confusion, breathing problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and black or bloody stools. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects.
- When diabetics take an overdose of aspirin, it may affect their urine sugar test results. In such a case, the doctor will tell you how to control sugar levels when taking it.
- If you suffer from asthma, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, gout, anemia, and ulcers, inform your doctor before you are prescribed aspirin therapy. Most importantly, if you suffer from hemophilia, a disease where there are problems with blood clotting, the intake of aspirin should be avoided completely, as this can sever the problem further.
- Pregnant women, or those who are breastfeeding, should avoid the intake of aspirin without consulting a doctor.
- Do not take aspirin if you are due for a surgery, up to ten days before the surgery.
- It may interact with drugs prescribed for other conditions such as vitamins, blood thinners, medicines for diabetes, and gout.
- Children below the age of sixteen should not be given aspirin particularly because of the risk of developing Reye's syndrome. It is a fatal disease that affects the functioning of all vital body organs, with the brain and the liver being the ones most affected. Studies have established a link between the intake of aspirin and Reye's syndrome.
No matter how many sources reaffirm the safe dosage, consulting your doctor before you start the intake of aspirin for any reason is extremely important. Don't take a risk by taking this drug on your own, especially if you have been prescribed medication for other conditions, or suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.