Generic name: acetylsalicylic acid

Brand names: Bufferin and Bayer

Aspirin is a medication that has been used for centuries to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower fever. In recent years, aspirin has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Aspirin is available over-the-counter in many countries, and it is one of the most inexpensive and widely available medications on the market. Aspirin is typically taken as a pill, but it can also be taken as a powder or in liquid form.

If you are considering taking aspirin for your health, it is important to speak with your doctor first to discuss the potential risks and benefits. Aspirin can interact with other medications, so it is important to be sure that it is safe for you to take.

In general, aspirin is considered safe for most people. However, there are some side effects that you should be aware of. The most common side effects of aspirin include stomach pain, heartburn, and nausea. If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop taking aspirin and speak with your doctor.

Pharmacokinetics

Aspirin is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine. Peak plasma concentrations are achieved in about 30-60 minutes. Food does not affect the extent of absorption but delays the time to peak concentration by about 20 minutes. Aspirin is extensively bound to plasma proteins (99%) and is distributed throughout the body tissues. It crosses the placenta and enters into breast milk. Small amounts of aspirin are metabolised in the gut mucosa by cyclooxygenase to salicylic acid which is then absorbed. However, most of the aspirin reaches the systemic circulation where it undergoes first pass metabolism in the liver by conjugation with glucuronic acid to form salicyluric acid. In the liver, aspirin also undergoes hydrolysis to form salicylic acid.

The elimination half-life of aspirin ranges from 15-30 minutes. Approximately 30-40% of an oral dose is excreted in the urine as salicyluric acid and other polar metabolites while 60-70% is eliminated in the urine as unchanged aspirin. Smaller amounts of aspirin are eliminated in the faeces.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of aspirin include stomach pain, heartburn, and nausea. If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop taking aspirin and speak with your doctor.

Aspirin can also cause more serious side effects in some people. These side effects include bleeding and ulcers in the stomach and intestines. If you experience these side effects, you should seek medical attention immediately.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not take aspirin unless your doctor tells you to. Aspirin can pass into breastmilk and may harm a nursing baby.

Dosage and Administration

The recommended adult dose of aspirin is 75-150 mg daily. The maximum daily dose is 4 g. Aspirin should be taken with food or milk to reduce stomach upset.

Aspirin should be used with caution in people with bleeding disorders or who are taking blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin). Aspirin can also interact with other medications, so it is important to speak with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medication.

Aspirin is available over-the-counter and by prescription. It is typically sold in tablet form, but it can also be found in powder or liquid form.

Overdose

If you think you have taken too much aspirin, you should seek medical attention immediately. An overdose of aspirin can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

symptoms of an aspirin overdose include:

  • stomach pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • bleeding from the nose or gums
  • blood in the stool or urine
  • confusion or dizziness
  • sweating or cold, clammy skin
  • fast heart rate or breathing
  • coma

Storage

Aspirin should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Aspirin tablets should be kept in a tightly sealed container.

Aspirin powder or liquid form should be stored in a cool, dry place. Aspirin tablets should not be crushed or chewed. Doing so can release too much of the medication at once and increase the risk of side effects.