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Aspirin

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Cardiovascular Agent

Aspirin - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Aspirin cause?

  • Stomach discomfort/ irritation e.g. stomach pain, heartburn
  • Mild bleeding such as
    • Unexplained nose bleed
    • Bleeding from gums when brushing teeth
    • Bleeding from small cuts for 10-15 minutes even as you apply pressure on the wound. Check with your doctor if the bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes or if you feel unwell.
    • Menstrual bleeding that is heavier than normal. However, heavy menstrual bleeding can also happen for other reasons. Do check with your doctor if you feel unwell.

Inform your healthcare professional if these side effects do not go away and are bothersome to you.

Patients taking Aspirin may have increased risk of bleeding. If you experience any serious bleeding, you should stop your medication and inform your healthcare professional immediately. Serious bleeding may include one or more of the following:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Black and sticky stools (if you are not using iron supplements at the same time)
  • Unexplained large bruises
  • Coughing up blood or coffee ground-like vomit
  • Sudden severe headache with nausea or loss of consciousness

Very rarely, Aspirin may cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious condition that affects the brain and liver in young children. However, this has only been mostly seen in children less than 5 years of age, who have had a viral illness (chickenpox or flu) or are on prolonged, high-dose Aspirin. Symptoms of Reye’s syndrome include:

  • Severe vomiting with viral symptoms such as fever, aches and pain
  • Confusion and tiredness
  • Change in behaviour
  • Blackout

See your doctor immediately if you (or your child) experience these symptoms.

Aspirin may also cause allergic reactions. The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Aspirin, what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any medication that belongs to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug class (‘NSAID’ or ‘painkillers’) such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You have a history of stomach or bowel ulcers or bleeding, or bleeding problems
  • You are planned for any medical procedures, surgeries or dental procedures
  • You are taking other medications, including supplements, traditional or herbal remedies

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Aspirin?

Aspirin - Additional Information

  • Updated on Wednesday, July 31, 2019
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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