Aspirin is used to treat mild to moderate pain, and also to reduce fever or inflammation. It is sometimes used to treat or prevent heart attacks, strokes, and angina. Aspirin should be used for cardiovascular conditions only under the supervision of a doctor.
Use aspirin exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger or smaller amounts, or use it for longer than recommended.
Take this medication with a full glass of water. Taking aspirin with food or milk can lessen stomach upset. Enteric-coated aspirin is specially formulated to be gentle on your stomach, but you may take it with food or milk if desired. Do not crush, chew, break, or open an enteric-coated or extended-release pill. Swallow the pill whole. The enteric-coated pill has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating. The extended-release tablet is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking this pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
The chewable tablet form of aspirin must be chewed before swallowing.
Keep the orally disintegrating tablet in its package until you are ready to take the medicine. Open the package and peel the back cover from the tablet. Using dry hands, place the tablet into your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away, without water. Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking aspirin. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Do not take this medication if you smell a strong vinegar odor in the aspirin bottle. The medicine may no longer be effective. Store aspirin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Since this medication is often used as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are using the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Drink a full glass of water with each dose.
Adults and children 12 years and over: take 1 or 2 tablets every 4 hours or 3 tablets every 6 hours, not to exceed 12 tablets in 24 hours.
Children under 12 years: consult a doctor.
Store Aspirin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep in a tight, light-resistant container. Keep Aspirin out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Aspirin should not be given to a child or teenager who has a fever, especially if the child also has flu symptoms or chicken pox. Aspirin can cause a serious and sometimes fatal condition called Reye’s syndrome in children.
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any symptoms of bleeding in your stomach or intestines. Symptoms include black, bloody, or tarry stools, and coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking this medication. Alcohol may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
Aspirin is sometimes used to treat or prevent heart attacks, strokes, and chest pain (angina). Aspirin should be used for cardiovascular conditions only under the supervision of a doctor.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to aspirin, or if you have:
- a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding;
- a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia; or
- an allergy to an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Orudis, Indocin, Lodine, Voltaren, Toradol, Mobic, Relafen, Feldene, and others.
- if you are a child or teenager with influenza (flu) or chickenpox;
- have bleeding problems such as hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, or low blood platelets;
- you have active severe bleeding;
- you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, breathing difficulties, dizziness), to aspirin, salicylates (e.g., salsalate), tartrazine, or an NSAID (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib).
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take aspirin:
- asthma or seasonal allergies;
- stomach ulcers;
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
- heart disease, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure;
- gout; or
- nasal polyps
If you are taking aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke, avoid also taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Ibuprofen may make this medication less effective in protecting your heart and blood vessels. If you must use both medications, take the ibuprofen at least 8 hours before or 30 minutes after you take the aspirin (non-enteric coated form). This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby’s heart, and may also reduce birth weight or have other dangerous effects. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while you are taking this medication. Aspirin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not use any other over-the-counter medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Aspirin is contained in many medicines available over the counter. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much aspirin. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains aspirin.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using aspirin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- black, bloody, or tarry stools;
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
- severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
- fever lasting longer than 3 days;
- swelling, or pain lasting longer than 10 days; or
- hearing problems, ringing in your ears.
Less serious side effects may include:
- upset stomach, heartburn;
- drowsiness; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.