Aspirin is the general name for acetylsalicylic acid (ASA); it is also the trademark of the drug produced by Bayer in Germany. In eighty countries, aspirin is a registered trademark, but in other places the term aspirin refers to ASA by itself or as an ingredient in other drugs.
The synthetic drug was developed as an analgesic (painkiller) and this is still the main purpose of the drug in most people’s minds. It was the first NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), and probably still the most effective.
Two complete families of drugs have been developed from ASA in the years since 1897.
Current uses of aspirin include:
v Over-the-counter pain relief, especially for headaches
v Reduction of swelling and inflammation in arthritis and injuries
v Anti-coagulant given to sufferers of heart attack, mini-stroke and unstable angina
v Can reduce severity of heart attack if taken at first symptoms
v Recovery after cardiovascular surgery (eg bypass operation)
v Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other rheumatoid diseases
Possible benefits of aspirin are being researched in:
v Migraine treatment
v Improving circulation in the gums
v Fighting ovarian, breast and colon cancer
v Prevention of cataracts
v Controlling pre-eclampsia
v Improving brain function, especially memory
v Reducing colorectal cancer repeating
v Prevention of adult leukaemia
v Prevention of HIV replicating
v Reduce prostrate cancer risk
v Increasing success rates of IVF programs
f you are taking this medication for self-treatment, follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist. If your doctor has directed you to take this medication, take it exactly as prescribed.
Take this medication by mouth. Drink a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) with it unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after you have taken this drug. If stomach upset occurs while you are taking this medication, you may take it with food or milk.
Swallow enteric-coated tablets whole. Do not crush or chew enteric-coated tablets. Doing so can increase stomach upset.
Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets or capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Read the product label to find recommendations on how many tablets you can take in a 24-hour period and how long you may self-treat before seeking medical advice. Do not take more medication or take it for longer than recommended unless directed by your doctor. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.