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Aspirin for Pain, Fever, and Inflammation

Topic Overview

Aspirin (such as Bayer or Bufferin) relieves pain and reduces fever and inflammation.

Warning: Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 unless your doctor tells you to do so because of the risk of Reye syndrome.

Be sure to follow the nonprescription medicine precautions.

Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). For information about other NSAIDs, see nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Side effects of aspirin include:

  • Stomach upset or discomfort, which is the most common side effect. If aspirin upsets your stomach, you can try taking it with food. But if that doesn't help, talk with your doctor.
  • Ringing in the ears. Stop taking aspirin or take a smaller dose until the ringing goes away.
  • Eye problems, such as blurred or double vision.
  • Dizziness.
  • Rapid, deep breathing.

Stop taking aspirin and call a health professional if side effects do not go away within 4 hours after the last dose of aspirin was taken.

Reasons not to take aspirin

Do not take aspirin if you:

  • Are allergic to aspirin.
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
  • Are breastfeeding.
  • Have nasal polyps.
  • Have a blood-clotting disorder or take blood thinners (anticoagulants).
  • Have peptic ulcer disease.
  • Have a history of gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Have a hangover.

Credits

Current as ofJune 3, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
David Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine