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Pharmacology Bits: ASPIRIN

BY: Zandro Cabaral | Category: Toxicology | Submitted: 2011-02-21 20:29:30
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Article Summary: "Aspirin is the widely used NSAIDS in the world. Do you know that there are some adverse effects about the drug? Do you know what drugs interact with Aspirin?.."


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Aspirin, just like any other drug should not be taken without doctor's advice. Although this drug can be bought over the counter, one must be cautious in taking it. The best way is to consult your physician about the symptoms you have and ask him if Aspirin can be used to relieve these symptoms. When Aspirin is approved by the doctor, you must take it on how it is being prescribed.

Aspirin is commonly marketed in tablet forms and to be taken per Orem or through oral route. It should not be crushed and mixed with neither beverages nor food. After taking the tablet, it is advised that you must drink water often. Aspirin is a known gastric acid stimulant which may lead to hyperacidity and even gastric ulcerations so it is better to take it with a full stomach. It is also recommended not to drink colas, coffee, tea, and any acidic beverages such as alcohol when in Aspirin medication to prevent gastric damage.

Aspirin must be taken only in a frequency of 2-3 times a day and in only a short span of time. It is usually marketed in a 500mg and 250mg tablet. Some of these tablets are flavor coated and chewable without water but still, it is preferred to take this medication in 1 piece and be followed with water intake. Aspirin is a commonly known drug antigen. This means that it has a high risk of hypersensitivity reactions. People with history of asthma and allergy must be cautious in taking the drug. In some instances when you notice an itchy sensation in the throat or difficulty of breathing or any other unusual systems after taking Aspirin, you must seek medical attention immediately. Another adverse effect of Aspirin is the ringing sensation of the ears known as tinnitus. Aspirin is ototoxic, hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic in nature so it is not recommended for people with liver and renal problems.

Long term intake of Aspirin is not recommended and must be further consulted and asked to the doctor. It has been proven that Aspirin, if used in a long period of time can induce an autoimmune disease known as Lupus and Steven-Johnson's Syndrome. These diseases are serious and manifested by skin lesions, photo-sensitivity, headache and dizziness. If you have blood dyscrasias or hematological and bleeding disorders, it is necessary to consult your hematologist and not self medicate with Aspirin because one adverse effect of this drug is bleeding.

Aspirin will also severe a pre-existing gastric laceration or ulcer and may lead to upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Aspirin may cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome due to its effect in increasing blood flow to the gastric mucosa which causes the gastrointestinal tract to increase activity. If incase you would experience sudden changes in sensorium, body heat, palpitations, chest pain, headache and numbness after taking Aspirin, immediately seek medical attention.
Aspirin should not be taken if you are under the treatment of Warfarin, Heparin or steroids. These agents are anticoagulants and Aspirin will enhance their effects and may cause excessive bleeding. Aspirin is a drug classified under Salicilates. These drugs act mainly in the products of cell metabolism. Salicilates inhibits the action of Thromboxane A2 which is a cytokine that causes vascular dilatation and most importantly initiates Platelet Aggregation in the process of Thrombosis. This means that these drugs prevent clotting and make blood less coagulable.

Aspirin is also contraindicated in pregnancy. The can penetrate the placenta and can be teratogenic. It may also cause premature bleeding and can cause abortion. In lactating mothers, consult your OB-Gyne and Pediatrician before taking the drug. Aspirin will affect Breast milk viability.

For patients who are scheduled for Surgery, or tooth extractions, ASPIRIN SHOULD BE STOPPED 5-7 DAYS BEFORE THE DATE OF THE OPERATION. You should also inform your Surgeon, Dentist, and Anesthesiologist about it so they can take necessary precautions.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO GIVE ASPIRIN IN CHILDREN WITH AN ONGOING VARICELLA ZOSTER INFECTION OR CHICKENPOX. Aspirin, when given in the onset of these diseases will cause inflammation and necrosis of the Liver sinusoids called REYE'S SYNDROME. This is the reason why Pediatricians don't recommend the use of Salicylates in the pediatric age group. Paracetamol is the best medication for this age group that has the same effects of Aspirin minus the adverse effects. When on a maintenance with an Anti hypertensive drug such as Beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors, Calcium Channel Blockers or anti-angina drugs, you must consult your Doctor first, before taking Aspirin.
Aspirin also interferes with some laboratory tests. It is recommended to advise the laboratory technician before doing the test. When in Aspirin medication and consulted a physician for other medical concerns, inform the physician that you are taking the drug and indicate how long you've been taking it so the latter can adjust his medications. Aspirin have some interactions with some drugs and may cause tremendous health problems.

Here is a summary on the list of drugs that interacts with Aspirin for easier reference:

• VARICELLA VIRUS VACCINE LIVE

• ANTIPLATELETS- DEXTRAN/DABIGATRAN

• PEMETREXED

• METHOTREXATE

• ANTICOAGULANT

• CORTICOSTEROIDS

• IBUPROFEN

• ANTICOAGULANTS; ANTIPLATELETS

• THROMBOLYTICS/DROTRECOGIN

• INDOMETHACIN/TILUDRONATE DISODIUM

• ACE INHIBITORS

• PLATELET AGGREGATION INHIBITORS/LEPIRUDIN

• VALPROIC ACID

• TICLOPIDINE

• CARBONIC ANHYDRASE INHIBITORS

• ANTI-DIABETICS

• URICOSURICS

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