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Baby Aspirin - Drug Information, Dosage, Side Effects and Drug Interactions

Updated on June 4, 2013

This article is not intended to be of a diagnostic nature. The following article is only for educational or informative purposes. Consult your doctor before taking this medication or making any changes to drug dosage.

Aspirin Tablets
Aspirin Tablets | Source

What Is Baby Aspirin?

The active ingredient in aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid. Baby aspirin is nothing but a lower dose of aspirin. It contains only 25% of the standard 325mg dose, which is 81mg. Aspirin has anti-platelet effect. Anti-platelet drugs are those drugs that that block the formation of blood clots by preventing the clumping of platelet. Baby aspirin helps to thin the blood slightly and prevent blood clots. Recent studies show that daily intake of more than 125mg of aspirin can cause severe side effects like bleeding in abdomen, hearing problems and hives. Therefore, standard dosage of aspirin is not recommended for daily aspirin therapy. Baby aspirin is safer for daily aspirin therapy.

Daily Aspirin Therapy

Long-term use of baby aspirin can significantly reduce your risk of getting a stroke or a heart attack. Baby Aspirin is prescribed as a preventive medication for heart disease and is also prescribed post heart surgery to help prevent blood clots. It is highly advised to take baby aspirin and not the standard dosage of aspirin for daily aspirin therapy because an overdose of aspirin can cause a number of side-effects.

Some patients are prescribed lifelong baby aspirin therapy after a heart attack. You should take a daily aspirin only if your doctor advises you to so.

How Does It Work?

Blood clots can occur within the vessels that supply blood to your heart causing blockage. These clots are formed by platelets or fat that gets deposited in the arteries. Platelets are particles circulating in the blood that are needed in order for blood clots to form. Blood clots are important because they stop bleeding. When bleeding occurs from a cut, platelets become activated and form a network by attaching to the blood vessel wall at the site of bleeding. Anti-platelet drugs block the clots from forming by preventing the clumping of platelet.

If Heart Diseases Runs In Your Family

Do not start taking baby aspirin without consulting your doctor. Aspirin has some severe side effects and potentially fatal allergic reactions. Although it is not completely proven, some studies suggest that stopping daily aspirin therapy suddenly can actually lead to a heart attack.

Is It Safe To Take Baby Aspirin Daily?

There are various arguments against the use of aspirin (baby aspirin) to prevent heart disease. Some doctors believe that the side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding were significant enough to outweigh any potential benefit and recommended against using of baby aspirin for primary prevention entirely. Others believe that low doses of aspirin is beneficial for preventing heart disease and the chances of side effects arising will be kept minimal if the dosage is correct.

Discuss with your doctor about the merits and demerits of daily aspirin therapy. Do not start taking baby aspirin without consulting your doctor.

Do Not Take Aspirin/Baby aspirin If

  • You are taking other fever medications.
  • You suffer from liver or kidney impairments.
  • You are allergic to any ingredient in the medication.
  • You have or recently had stomach ulcer or abdominal bleeding.
  • Avoid usage of the medication if you regularly consume alcohol.
  • Never take aspirin if you have cold like symptoms or if you have asthma.
  • Do not take 2 doses at once.
  • Do not take this medication if you are pregnant or breast feeding.(Baby aspirin can be taken on doctor's prescription )
  • Not recommended for children or teenagers.

Source

Allergic reactions

  • Excessive sweating
  • Swelling of face, lips or tongue
  • Skin rash
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness

Even fatal allergic reactions have been reported. If you are taking aspirin for the first time start with a small dose of 71mg or baby aspirin to check for allergic reactions.

Side Effects of Standard 325mg Aspirin

Common side effects

  • Vomiting
  • Increased acidity in stomach (heartburn)
  • Nausea
  • Stomach upset
  • Indigestion

Rare side effects

  • Hearing problems
  • Asthma symptoms worsen
  • Black tarry stool
  • Hives
  • Coughing or vomiting blood

Blood may be vomited as a result of bleeding in nose or abdomen.

  • Reye's syndrome

Children under the age of 18 given aspirin for cold, flu and fever may develop this condition. Reye's syndrome is a potentially fatal disease that lowers the blood sugar level and causes inflammation of liver and brain.

  • Bleeding abdomen

This is a very rare but serious side effect, consult your doctor immediately if you observe any serious side effects.

  • Rising heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Bleeding in nose or brain

(Caused by daily intake of more than 125mg of aspirin)

(Side Effects may occur with lesser severity with baby aspirin.)

Drug Interactions

Aspirin may react with

  • Warfarin and other blood thinning medicines.
  • Antacids
  • Other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Alcohol

During Pregnancy and Breast Feeding

Standard dosage of aspirin is not recommended for pregnant women, intake of 300mg of aspirin can be harmful for the baby. Baby aspirin may be taken only on doctor's prescription during pregnancy.

There is a possibility of the medication being transferred to breast milk, not recommended for nursing mothers.

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    • Thelifearound profile image

      Nguyen Kinh Luan 20 months ago

      But is this pill really some sort wonder pill? Aspirin is already a source to use to help reduce fevers, relieve pain especially in muscular joints, and stop headaches. Now a study earlier this year suggests aspirin can combine with enzyme GAPDH which causes human cells to die on purpose.

      By limiting GAPDH, aspirin could limit cell death and thus stop diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Another recent study shows that daily usage of a low doses (81-100 milligrams or less) of aspirin for at least a decade can reduce the threat of cancer up to 35-50 percent. These studies are coming out now because scientists only recently began to figure out why aspirin works even though it has been regularly used for more than a century. Its medicinal uses were actually first theorized way back around 400 B.C. by a physician named Hippocrates. He claimed that if a bark of a willow tree was ground into powder, it could treat pains and fevers. Because of his work and discovers, Hippocrates is now regarded as the father of modern medicine.