Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid, is a type of NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). NSAID's are pain analgesics that can help to alleviate mild to moderate pain and inflammation in the body caused by a wide range of conditions, such as fever, headache, cold and flu, arthritis, and muscle injury.
Like other NSAID's, aspirin is a COX inhibitor which means it blocks the production of the COX enzyme and prevents the formation of prostaglandins, a chemical that causes inflammation in the body. Unlike other NSAID's, low-dose aspirin can also be used as a blood-thinning medication for people with a high risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, stroke, or angina pain.
Key Facts to Consider
Before deciding to take aspirin as a pain reliever or blood thinner, it's important that you speak to a healthcare professional, such as your doctor, to ensure it is the right medication for you. Here is some useful information to know:
- There are two types of blood thinners - anticoagulants and anti-platelets. While anticoagulants, such as Warfarin, slow down the body's process of making clots, anti-platelets, such as aspirin, stop blood cells known as platelets from clumping together and creating a blood clot.
- Taking low-dose aspirin daily makes the blood less sticky to reduce your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
- Aspirin is best taken with food to avoid minor side effects, such as stomach upset.
- Unless recommended by your doctor, do not give aspirin to children 16 years and under as it can increase their risk of developing a rare illness called Reye's Disease which affects the liver and brain.
Daily Aspirin Therapy
Daily aspirin therapy is when you take a low-dose aspirin every day to reduce your risk of suffering a severe cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. Aspirin in low doses can thin the blood to prevent clotting, reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to the heart and brain. Some studies suggest it may also help to lower high blood pressure.
You should always consult a healthcare professional to ensure that aspirin is appropriate for you and to determine the correct dosage.
How and When You Can Take It
If taking aspirin for pain relief, follow the instructions on the packaging which will guide you on how and when to take it. Aspirin can be dissolved in water, chewed, or swallowed. If using aspirin for cardiovascular disease, always talk to your doctor first for information on how to use it safely.
Preventing Heart Attacks
Many clinical trials have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of low-dose aspirin in the treatment of heart disease. Results support the idea that daily aspirin can be helpful as both a secondary and primary prevention method for those at risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
How Aspirin Can Thin Your Blood
Aspirin is a type of blood-thinning medication known as an anti-platelet drug. It works by stopping blood cells called platelets from sticking together and forming a blood clot that can block blood vessels and stop the blood from flowing to the heart and brain. A low dose of aspirin taken daily can prevent these small blood cells from clotting and help to prevent a major cardiovascular event.
Taking Aspirin with Other Pain Relievers
Aspirin interacts with many different drugs which can reduce the effectiveness of the medication as well as cause some serious side effects. As an NSAID, aspirin cannot be taken with any other NSAID, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, as it can increase the risk of stomach bleeding. It should also not be used with warfarin due to the risk of bleeding, as well as certain antidepressants.
Aspirin and paracetamol can be taken together to provide stronger pain relief when needed.
Finding Your Best Dosage
The use of aspirin can be a very effective treatment in lowering your risk of heart attack and relieving pain and inflammation if taken at the right dosage. Always read the instructions on the label when using OTC aspirin for pain, fever, and inflammation. If taking a low dose of aspirin for cardiovascular event prevention, always consult your doctor to discuss the correct dosage for your situation.
Possible Side Effects
Aspirin can have some serious side effects when taken in high doses. This can include an increased risk of developing kidney disease, haemorrhagic stroke, gastrointestinal bleeding, and stomach ulcers. Heartburn and indigestion can also be a side effect for those using aspirin therapy, taking it with food can help to reduce this
Aspirin should also never be used to reduce fever in children as it can cause a disease called Reye's Syndrome which affects the liver and brain and can be fatal.
Different Forms of Aspirin
Aspirin comes in a variety of forms. There are enteric-coated tablets that prevent the drug from dissolving into the stomach, which may protect the gastric mucosa from the irritating effects of the medication itself. There are soluble tablets that can be dissolved in water and swallowed, as well as chewable tablets, capsules, and suppositories. Amcal stock low-dose tablets for helping to prevent cardiovascular events, as well as capsules and soluble tablets for relieving pain, fever, and inflammation.
When to Seek Medical Advice
If you intend to take aspirin regularly to thin the blood and decrease your chances of developing a blood clot, it's essential that you speak to a healthcare professional first, such as your doctor. They will be able to determine whether this treatment is suitable for your condition and advise you on the correct dosage to avoid any adverse effects.
How Amcal Can Help and Advise You with Your Medications
Amcal offers private consultations for a range of health services that can help you to manage your overall health and wellbeing. Our services include risk assessment, screening, medication reviews, vaccinations, and much more. Book in today to speak to one of our friendly healthcare specialists and discover how we can help you.
You can also purchase aspirin for pain relief and heart health online with all the biggest brand names available and free postage over $89. Shop Aspro for reducing pain, fever, and inflammation, or use aspirin to help prevent heart attack and stroke with Cartia, Astrix, Cardiprin, Aspro, and Amcal. Find your nearest store and talk to our pharmacy experts for expert advice and the best solutions to suit you.
FAQs About Aspirin
What is Aspirin and What is it Used for?
Aspirin is a common type of pain analgesic that can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. It can be used to ease pain from headaches, toothaches, period pain, and more, as well as to bring down fever with a cold or flu. Daily low-dose aspirin can also be used to thin the blood and prevent clotting which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Is Aspirin a Blood Thinner?
Low-dose aspirin is a blood-thinning medication that can be used daily to help those with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease prevent heart attacks, strokes, and angina pain. Low-dose aspirin is different to using aspirin for pain relief. We have the best brands in low-dose aspirin to assist in clot prevention and regular strength aspirin for pain relief, including:
Is Aspirin and Ibuprofen the Same?
Aspirin and ibuprofen are both NSAID's and can be used to treat pain and inflammation associated with fever, cold and flu, headaches, arthritis, and more. However, aspirin can also be used long-term as a blood thinner at a lower dose to prevent clotting that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. They should not be taken together as this can increase your risk of serious side effects.
Is Aspirin Safe to Take?
As with all pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen and muscle pain medication, the dosage is important for reducing the risk of adverse side effects and complications. Aspirin is safe to take for pain and inflammation or daily as prescribed by your doctor at a lower dose. While it can't be combined with other NSAIDs, it can be taken with paracetamol for a stronger effect.