Aspirin is a type of painkiller that is often used to relieve mild pain and discomfort including aches and pains such as headaches or period pains. It can also be used to relieve the effects of fevers. However, as with most medicine, there are some side effects. There is one side effect that you should speak to a doctor about if you start experiencing it.
Before you or suggest someone else takes aspirin, you should make sure that you can safely have it.
It isn’t, for example, safe for children to take aspirin.
You should also let your GP know if you:
• Are pregnant
• Have an allergy to aspirin
• Have ever had a stomach ulcer
• Suffer from high blood pressure
• Suffer from indigestion
• Suffer from asthma
• Have heavy periods
• Have ever had liver or kidney problems.
• Have ever had a blood clotting problem
• Have gout (a form of arthritis)
On that first point, about pregnancy, there are some guidelines about whether and how much you should take during your term.
Overall, it is agreed that it is safe to take aspirin during your pregnancy, as long as your GP gives you the go ahead.
The reason why aspirin may be prescribed is to lower your chances of a heart attack or a stroke, if you’re having fertility treatment or if you have experienced previous miscarriages.
It can also help to prevent pre-eclampsia, a type of high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy.
Aspirin works best when used over long periods of time and, unlike some medicines, you can continue to drink alcohol whilst taking it.
Whilst it’s safe to take painkillers with aspirin, it’s recommended that you avoid taking ibuprofen, that is unless you’ve consulted your GP or doctor beforehand.
The reason for avoiding taking both together is that, combined, they can cause stomach irritation.
Lifestyle changes can also be made to enhance the effect of the aspirin; these include improving your diet, exercising more, cutting down on your alcohol levels and finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety.