Aspirin is in a group of drugs called salicylates. It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Aspirin is used to treat mild to moderate pain, and also to reduce fever or inflammation. It is sometimes used to treat or prevent heart attacks, strokes, and angina. Aspirin should be used for cardiovascular conditions only under the supervision of a doctor.
Use aspirin exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger or smaller amounts, or use it for longer than recommended. Take this medication with a full glass of water. Taking aspirin with food or milk can lessen stomach upset. Enteric-coated aspirin is specially formulated to be gentle on your stomach, but you may take it with food or milk if desired. Do not crush, chew, break, or open an enteric-coated or extended-release pill. Swallow the pill whole. The enteric-coated pill has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating. The extended-release tablet is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking this pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. The chewable tablet form of aspirin must be chewed before swallowing. Keep the orally disintegrating tablet in its package until you are ready to take the medicine. Open the package and peel the back cover from the tablet. Using dry hands, place the tablet into your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away, without water. Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking aspirin. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time. Do not take this medication if you smell a strong vinegar odor in the aspirin bottle. The medicine may no longer be effective. Store aspirin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using aspirin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects: black, bloody, or tarry stools; coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; fever lasting longer than 3 days; swelling, or pain lasting longer than 10 days; or hearing problems, ringing in your ears. Less serious side effects may include: upset stomach, heartburn; drowsiness; or headache. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.
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