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Aspirin

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What does this medicine do?

Aspirin (AS pir in) stops platelets from getting sticky and clumping together to form a clot. It also blocks molecules that cause pain and swelling. Finally, it can change the body's thermostat in the brain.

Aspirin is used to prevent/treat strokes, heart attacks, thin the blood, ease pain, swelling, and fever, treat arthritis, rheumatic fever, Kawasaki's disease and certain types of congenital heart disease.

How should I give Aspirin?

Aspirin can be given by mouth or as a suppository in the rectum. Give aspirin with or without food. Give with food if it causes an upset stomach.

Use this medicine exactly as prescribed, even if your child feels fine.

Swallow enteric coated or long acting products whole, do not crush.

You may crush chewable tablets and mix with food. Do not mix medicine into hot drinks because the heat may destroy its effectiveness.

For babies, you may want to mix the medicine with a small amount of formula or breast milk and give it with a bottle nipple before feeding. Do not add the medicine to a whole bottle because if your baby does not finish it, you will not know how much of the medicine was taken.

For children who cannot swallow pills:

  1. Crush the tablet between 2 spoons, inside a plastic bag, or in folded paper.
  2. Mix the powder with a very small amount (about 1 teaspoon) of soft food, such as applesauce, chocolate syrup, ice cream, jelly, or yogurt. Make sure your child takes all of the mixture.

Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?

While on aspirin, DO NOT TAKE:

  • any other type of blood thinner medicine, such as warfarin (Coumadin®, or another brand)
  • ibuprofen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Check with the doctor, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist before giving any other prescription or non-prescription medicines, herbs, or vitamins.

What should I do if a dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you remember, unless it is less than 6 hours until the next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Never give a double dose.

What are the side effects?

Occasional

  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Bleeding problems

Rare

  • Throwing up blood or something that looks like coffee grounds.

When should I call the clinic?

  • Bleeding that won't stop
  • Pale skin with easy bruising
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools
  • Bad headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Swelling or pain in one or both legs
  • Sudden numbness, weakness, confusion, dizziness, or headache
  • Signs of allergic reaction:
    - rash or hives
    - wheezing
    - trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

  • Do not give children or teenagers aspirin for flu symptoms or chickenpox due to the chance of Reye's syndrome. This can cause severe problems to the brain and liver.
  • Store tablets at room temperature and protect from light and water. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Store suppositories in the refrigerator.
  • You and your child should know the names and doses of all medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care.
  • Bring the medicine container when your child comes to the clinic or emergency department.
  • Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Check the label and expiration date before giving each dose.
  • Store all medicines in their original containers and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children's reach. Lock the medicine up if possible.
  • If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.

Questions?

This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call your clinic or pharmacy.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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