Facts About Aspirin Patient Education

Aspirin Patient Education – Overview

Aspirin, also called the “wonder drug”, is an extremely popular and widely used medication around the world.

The number of aspirin tablets sold annually in the United States is much higher, with estimates suggesting Americans consume over 15 billion each year. This medication falls into the NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) category.

Aspirin usually lowers fever and alleviates minor aches and pains. This medication even helps prevent strokes and heart attacks.

Why is Aspirin Prescribed?

Aspirin is prescribed to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and several other similar conditions.

Aspirin’s primary mechanisms of action include reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and inhibiting blood clot formation; it does not directly address immune system malfunctions where the immune system attacks healthy body parts.

Non-prescription aspirin reduces fever and alleviates mild pain from menstrual periods, headaches, toothaches, arthritis and muscle aches.

This medication is also helpful in reducing the risk of a heart attack in people who have already experienced cardiac arrest. This medication has also been found effective in preventing ischemic strokes, mini-strokes, etc.

Aspirin is also prescribed with certain medications, such as pain relievers, antacids, and cold cough medicines.

How Should Aspirin be used?

Aspirin Patient Education

Aspirin Patient Education – How Should Aspirin be used

Aspirin comes in various forms, including immediate-release and extended-release (long-acting) formulations. The statement should specify that aspirin’s action can be immediate or extended depending on the formulation. Non-prescription aspirin is sold as a regular tablet, a chewable tablet, a delayed-release tablet, powder or as a gum for oral consumption.

It is usually advised that this medicine be taken twice or thrice a day. Low-dose aspirin may be recommended for certain individuals to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, but this is based on individual health profiles and should be guided by a healthcare professional.

It is also often taken every 4 or 6 hours to treat pain or fever.

Follow the instructions on the packet and read the prescription label carefully.

You should also consult with your pharmacist or doctor to explain anything you do not understand in the instructions.

Always take aspirin as directed by the doctor, pharmacist, or prescription label. Do not take more or less than the prescribed dosage, as this may lead to severe complications.

Here’s how you should take each type of aspirin:

Always follow specific instructions their healthcare provider provides or the medication label for taking any aspirin.

Extended-release aspirin – Swallow these tablets with a full glass of water. Do not crush, break or chew this type of aspirin.

Delayed-release aspiring – Swallow these aspirin tablets with a full glass of water, as directed by the doctor or prescription label.

Chewable aspirin – This aspirin tablet can be swallowed whole or chewed and crushed. Drink an entire glass of water immediately after taking chewable aspirin tablets.

Does Aspirin Cause Side Effects

Yes, consuming aspirin may cause certain side effects, including:

  • Stomach ache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn

Apart from these, there are other more severe side effects often seen with the consumption of aspirin. These include:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Breathing difficulty (wheezing breaths)
  • Swelling in throat, tongue, face, lips or eyes
  • Fast heartbeat (palpitation)
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Fast breathing
  • Loss of hearing
  • Ringing in ears
  • Bloody vomit
  • Dark brown, sluggish vomit
  • Red or black-tarry stools

If you notice any signs of the above-mentioned side effects, it is strongly advised that you contact your doctor immediately.

How to store and dispose of Aspirin

It is strongly recommended that aspirin be kept in a secure container that is out of reach of children. You can store this medication safely at room temperature.

Still, you must keep the pill container away from direct heat or moisture. Hence, you should avoid taking aspirin in your bathroom.


Keep all appointments with your doctor. If you are taking aspirin on a prescription, do not let anyone else handle your medication.

Ask your pharmacist any questions or doubts you may have before getting your prescription refilled. Make sure to list other medications, drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, etc., which you may be consuming regularly.

Bring this list of medications and supplements to your doctor’s visit. This way, the doctor can decide if aspirin is the best-suited medication for your condition.

In case of any risk, the doctor may recommend another pain reliever or antacid.

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Current Version
July 6, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 21, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD

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