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Aspirin – Things You Should Know

Although known by many other names (brand names), Aspirin is still the name which comes to mind when one wants to get rid of that niggling headache. And although it is known to be used for many other complaints as well, the trusted little friend can often come with some unexpected side-effects.


An Aspirin is a salicylate (groups of related compounds derived from salicylic acid, which inhibit prostaglandin synthesis [the manufacture of lipid compounds within both animal and human cells]) that has analgesic (painkiller), antipyretic (something that reduces or quells fever), and anti-inflammatory properties.

The standard Aspirin is usually taken in the form of a tablet (either with liquid or food, and should not be crushed, chewed or broken) to treat a whole host of complaints, such as: body pains, the effects of fevers, and to reduce inflammation within the body.


However, certain precautions should be adhered to before considering taking an Aspirin or offering one to someone else. For example: in children and young teenagers who have symptoms of either a fever, or the flu, as it has been known to cause Reye’s Syndrome.

Reye’s syndrome is a potentially fatal condition that tends to have a detrimental effect on many of the body’s organs, especially the brain and liver, and can also cause someones blood sugar level to lower. Reye’s syndrome is still not really understood; however, it is believed to be provoked by the use of Aspirin.

If any of the following conditions exist, such as: a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding, asthma or similar allergies, blood clotting disorders, gout, heart disease or congestive heart failure, hemophilia (the bleeding disorder), high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, or nasal polyps (tumor like growths that develop on the nose), then Aspirin should not be taken.

When being treated with any form of NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as: Advil, Aleve, Feldene, Indocin, Lodine, Morbic, Motrin, Orudis, Toradol, Relafen, or Voltaren, etc., it is advisable to seek medical advise before taking Aspirin.

When being treated with certain antidepressants, such as: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Fluoxetine (Prozac), Fluvoxamine, Paroxetine, Sertraline (Zoloft), Trazodone, or Vilazodone, it may be advisable not to take Aspirin.

When being treated with Warfarin ([Coumadin] the blood thinner to prevent clotting) or other type of salicylates, vitamins or certain herbs, taking Aspirin is not recommended.

It is also not advisable to take Aspirin when pregnant, as it can, under certain circumstances be harmful to the baby’s heart, reduce birth weight, or even have some other detrimental effect. Also when breast-feeding, Aspirin can easily be passed on through the milk, causing harm to a newly born baby.


Some common side-effects of taking Aspirin may include: mild upset stomachs, drowsiness, heart-burn, and mild headaches.

However, more serious side-effects may include: coughing up blood, confusion (ringing in the ears, and hallucinations), esophagitis (difficult and painful swallowing, mouth sores, feeling of something stuck in the throat, nausea and vomiting [vomit that looks like coffee]).

Fevers (lasting 3-days or more), gastrointestinal bleeding, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastritis (stomach inflammation/ irritation), rapid breathing, stool changes (bloody/tarry), and swellings or pain to the face, lips, tongue, or throat that last for more than 10-days.

Usually the more common side-effects of Aspirin tend to be short-lived and require little more than a short amount of time before they begin to disappear; however, the less common side-effects can be a lot more serious, even life-threatening, and where it would be prudent to seek some type of medical attention.

Philip Albert Edmonds-Hunt