Aspirin also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) belongs to a group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Though it belongs to NSAID’s the working mechanism of this medication is different from others. Aspirin is available as an over-the-counter drug. It is one of the medications listed in the World Health Organization’s model list of essential medicines.
Aspirin is mainly used to treat inflammation, fever or pain. This is one of the medicines that can be used on a long term basis but at low doses to prevent strokes and heart attacks. This medication is found to be effective in preventing certain types of cancer mainly colorectal cancer which occurs as a development of cancer from parts of large intestine.
Aspirin is also taken to treat pain arising from toothaches and headaches. This medication can also be used in the treatment of joint pain symptoms of acute rheumatic fever. It may also reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer.
Aspirin is prescribed to be taken 4 times in the treatment of fever or arthritis. For the treatment of coronary artery disease lower dosage of this medication is prescribed to be taken once daily.
The medication is supposed to be taken only as directed by the physician. It was found that women taking lower dosage, 75mg to 80mg of Aspirin had lower risk of cardiovascular disease which is about 25% lower than that of people consuming the higher dose. And the risk of death due to overdose was reduced by 14%.
When Aspirin is used in the treatment of Kawasaki disease (an autoimmune disease that affects the blood vessel of the child) it can be taken up to 4 times a day. This has to be followed for 2 weeks and after that lower dose of this medication is taken once daily for about 6 to 8 weeks.
Common side effects like vomiting, heart burn and nausea may prevail in the initial stage of the treatment with Aspirin. Side effects like sudden loss of hearing, fast heart rate, and bloody vomit should be reported to the physician immediately. When the medication is taken in larger dosage than prescribed it is possible for harmful side effects to happen.
Aspirin is found to interact with many drugs. Some of them which are found to interact with this medication are drugs taken for diabetes, beta blockers and gout. So it is better for a person to discuss his medical condition and medical history to his physician before getting treated.