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Aspirin: Uses, risks, and side effects

Since the era of Hippocrates salicylates from willow bark utilized as analgesics. The febrifuge efficiency of salicylate is in the mainstream for 200 years. Aspirin ( Acetylsalicylic acid ) is an anti-inflammatory drug & the anti-inflammatory effect happens by the inhibition of cyclooxygenase with a successive reduction of prostaglandin. Aspirin is the most common alexipyretic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug.

In the reference to the research paper “The  Role of  Aspirin in the  Prevention of  Cardiovascular Disease” by Sunitha  V.  Ittaman,  MD,  Jeffrey  J.  VanWormer, PhD,  and  Shereif  H.  Rezkalla,  MD,  in the serious cardiovascular disease the secondary prevention through low dose aspirin therapy is clear but for the primary prevention of CVD  is still challenging due to the mixed findings on mortality benefit.

Aspirin show some gender difference effect in male and female, the exact reason is not in the public forum now but evidence suggests there may be some biological basis for these differences for example: in women, the baseline platelet reactivity is greater than men. According to various physicians, aspirin shows gender-specific risks and advantages.

Aspirin is utilized in coronary artery diseases such as acute myocardial infarction, aspirin use in unstable angina, and acute non-ST segment elevation MI. Aspirin is also utilized in Cerebrovascular diseases.

Baby aspirin: a single pill of baby aspirin of 81mg of aspirin, it’s a 1/4th part of the adult dose 325mg, for heart health baby aspirin is a most prominent drug.

  • Adverse effects/ Side effects: As we know aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug and inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect but it also results in gastric ulcer, renal failure & impaired platelet function with resultant hemorrhagic complications with alteration of protective prostaglandins. Some side effects are the following:


  • GI toxicity: It happens when the inhibition of COX in the loss of the cell-protective effects of PGE2 on the gastric mucosa.


  • Increase in the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in the patient who’s treated with aspirin in the vicinity of acute ischemic stroke. The risk of stroke also increased when aspirin is used for primary or secondary cardiovascular events.


  • Renal failure may be associated with the use of nonaspirin inhibitors of COX( Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).


  • Aspirin works as a weak inhibitor in the low to moderate dose as utilized in CVD ( Cardio Vascular diseases ) for proper renal function. A high dose of aspirin (1500 mg/d) reduce renal sodium excretion in patients with heart failure.


  • People suffering from Asthma shows intolerance against aspirin. Side effects like bronchoconstrictions, rhinitis, and urticaria.


  • Aspirin is linked with Reyes syndrome that’s why it’s shouldn’t be given to children or use caution when you are giving the aspirin to children.


  • Children who are given aspirin during cold or minor fever are at the risk for a rare and tough serious illness called Reye Syndrome. After developing Reye syndrome, children get sick very easily.



Aspirin and paracetamol both reduce the pain but there is some difference between them:


  • Paracetamol is acetaminophen (a group of analgesics ), prevents the production of prostaglandins while aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid.


  • Paracetamol has no use in inflammation, it’s used in moderate pain, such as headaches, toothache, muscle and joint pains, and menstrual pain. Aspirin is used to limit inflammation, reduce fever and relieve mild to moderate pain, such as headaches, sprains and strains, toothaches, and menstrual pain. high doses  can reduce rheumatic fever or arthritis, and in low doses, it’s used to thin the blood.


  • Paracetamol causes allergic reactions or side effects such as rash swelling and difficulty breathing, as well as flushing, low blood pressure and a fast heartbeat, an overdose may cause liver, kidney and brain damage.


  • aspirin side effects are Nausea, vomiting, indigestion, ulceration, bleeding and bruising of the gut. Overdose of aspirin cause hearing loss, seizure or coma.


Please avoid the unnecessary utilization of drugs. Don’t take aspirin and paracetamol at the same time, it can be produced in lethargic situations.

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