Brand Names

Alka-Seltzer, Bayer, Bufferin

How is it Administered?

Aspirin comes as a regular, coated, extended-release (long-acting),
chewable, or effervescent tablet (dissolved in liquid).

What is Aspirin Used For?

Aspirin is used to relieve mild to moderate pain; reduce fever, redness, and swelling; and to help prevent blood from clotting.

What Should I Tell My Doctor Before I Begin Taking Aspirin?

Tell your doctor:

  • if you are allergic to aspirin, other arthritis or pain medications
  • what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); corticosteroids such as cortisone (Cortone), dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), or prednisone (Deltasone); medications for diabetes, gout, or high blood pressure
  • if you have or have ever had anemia, hemophilia or other bleeding problems, a history of ulcers, asthma, kidney or liver disease, or gout
  • if you have diabetes. Talk to your doctor about proper monitoring of your blood sugar while taking aspirin

How Should I Take Aspirin?

  • Regular, coated, and extended-release aspirin tablets and capsules should be swallowed with a full glass of water or milk or after meals to avoid stomach upset.
  • An oral liquid form of aspirin can be prepared by dissolving effervescent tablets (Alka-Seltzer) in water.

What Are Some Possible Side Effects I May Experience?

Although side effects from aspirin are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain

When To Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • ringing in the ears
  • loss of hearing
  • bloody or black stools
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness
  • mental confusion
  • drowsiness
  • skin rash