Basically, aspirin is a drug that relieves pain, lowers a fever and reduces inflammation by blocking prostaglandin production. So the benefits of aspirin are sanity savers, unless of course you suffer an aspirin sensitivity
Aspirin, aka acetylsalicylic acid, is absorbed quickly into your bloodstream, thus providing you with rapid relief for a fairly long time. As a OTC medication, it is used by many to remedy:
- cold & flu aches
- arthritic joint pain
- menstrual cramps
Aspirin is sold OTC in a variety of forms beyond just that little white pill. It’s now coated, chewable, buffered and extended released. And numerous other medicines contain it as well, so you need to read those labels if you have salicylic sensitivity because aspirin is in salicylate group of drugs. Salicylates work by impeding the production of natural substances that cause fever, pain, swelling and blood clots.
Other drugs in the salicylate group, i.e. sodium salicylate, choline salicylate and magnesium salicylate. These drugs have similar benefits of aspirin, but they can be lighter on your stomach. Although, they usually cost more. And salicylates are chemicals that are naturally in some foods too.
Aspirin therapy is sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of:
- Kawasaki disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
- rheumatic health conditions
- to prevent certain pregnancy complications
- lower the risk of blood clots if you have an artificial heart valve
- rheumatic fever which can develop after a strep throat infection
And some are instructed by their health care providers to use low dosage aspirin therapy to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack or other heart problems. This daily aspirin therapy is not recommended for everyone, typically only those who:
- experience angina
- have high risk heart attack, stroke, blood clots
- have had a heart attack, stroke, TIAs, blood clots
Aspirin therapy reduces the clumping action of blood platelets, which means minor cuts may bleed a bit longer than normal. But acetylsalicylic acid does nothing for hemorrhagic strokes caused by brain bleeding.
Aspirin can cause some drug side effects, like:
- hearing loss
- easy bruising
- bleeding gums
- nausea, vomiting
- difficulty breathing
- bloody or black tarry stools
- eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat swelling
Some of these side effects can be serious, so contact your health care provider ASAP if that is your case.
- metabolic acidosis
- decreased urination
- restlessness, irritability
- confusion, hallucinations
- blurry vision, double vision
- burning pain in throat, stomach
- drowsiness, loss of consciousness
If your overdose is severe and other treatments don’t work, then hemodialysis may be necessary to get that aspirin out of your blood.
Those who take an aspirin a day may have a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease and stomach ulcers. Also, acetylsalicylic acid should never be given to a child or teenager to relieve virus infection symptoms because of the link to Reye’s syndrome. This syndrome is a life threatening health condition that affects the nervous system and liver, and those that do survive frequently end up with permanent brain damage.
For some, a sensitivity to salicylic can be an aspirin taking health concern. Development of these symptoms after downing an aspirin suggests a possible sensitivity: