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Aspirin can be dangerous: Know the health risks of this medication

Since aspirin is a low-cost drug, researchers believe that it can significantly reduce treatment costs. © Shutterstock

An aspirin is easily available over the counter without a prescription. But taking this medication without a prescription may lead to serious health complications.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : September 4, 2019 1:50 PM IST

Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug. Your doctor may prescribe it for fever, pain and inflammation in the body. It is a blood thinner and can prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of heart attacks. It can also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. This generic drug, which is sold under different names, is made from acetylsalicylic acid. This makes it a non-steroidal drug.

Use of any drug has its own risks and aspirin is no different. Many people are allergic to this medication. The earliest symptoms of acute aspirin poisoning may include ringing in the ears. Common symptoms are rapid breathing, double vision, nausea and facial swelling among others. In severe cases of poisoning, you may experience agitation, fever, convulsions, low blood pressure, bleeding, a rapid heart rate, confusion and even coma. Side-effects can also include the risk of cardiovascular problems and bleeding disorders.

Children below to age of 12 should never take this medicine as it can cause adverse health reactions. In fact, the UK Medicines Control Agency has recommended that children under 16 should not be given aspirin. At present, there is a ban on this drug for children under 12 in the UK. In 2015 and 2017, the Indian government also banned the use of this medicine without a prescription during dengue outbreaks due to its adverse effects. Even adults should take it only after consulting a doctor.

Let us take a look at some of the health risks of aspirin.

It may affect brain of children

Aspirin poisoning was once the most common cause of accidental poisoning of children. They have a weak immunity and can be easily infested by a bacteria or virus. If you give your child aspirin, you may be putting him at risk of Reye's syndrome. This is a condition that causes swelling in the liver and brain. It can be life-threatening if not treated on time.

Pregnant women should not take aspirin

Taking an aspirin during pregnancy can cause complications. You must take it only if your doctor advises it. Some doctors recommend it to break clots or if there is a risk of preeclampsia. Normally, aspirin is bad for both the mother and the baby. Aspirin causes congenital defects and could even close the vessels of the foetus's heart.

Senior citizens should avoid this medication

Aspirin is a blood thinner. A study published in the Cardiovascular Congress, USA, says that since people above 70 already have or are prone to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, taking aspirin daily may give them a bleeding disorder. Consult your doctor before taking aspirin and avoid using any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug along with aspirin.

It causes gastrointestinal bleeding

Aspirin sticks to the stomach walls. This can cause stomach ulcers or peptic ulcer. When this ulcer starts bleeding, it leads to gastrointestinal problems. Taking an aspirin in such cases aggravate the situation and lead to life-threatening conditions. Ask your doctor to change your non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug if you feel any heaviness or a burning sensation in your stomach.

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