Aspirin The Mighty Drug
Dr. Philip Majerus discovered a few decades ago that aspirin can help prevent heart attacks and stroke. Since then, Majerus, a professor at Washington University, has maintained a deep respect for this little white pill, which has been around since the 1800s.
Aspirin is the most effective drug that we have, Majerus says. If we eliminated all but three drugs, aspirin would be one of the three drugs we should keep, he says.
Much of America agrees with him. Aspirin is in virtually everyones medicine cabinet.
Doctors still like it because, while theres a pill for every ailment aspirin addresses, aspirin is the only pill that takes care of so many conditions. Consumers still like it because its the least expensive and most versatile drug on the market.
To the consumer, it is almost a miracle drug, says Nimita Thekkepat, assistant professor of pharmacy at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. It helps inflammation, fever, and it can save your life .
Aspirin works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, the on-off switch in cells that regulate pain and inflammation, among other things. Thats why aspirin stops mild inflammation and pain. But thats the blessing and the curse.
Prostaglandins are unique to each family of cells. Some versions are good some versions promote pain some versions constrict blood vessels and help platelets clot.
But to aspirin, the only good prostaglandin is a dead prostaglandin.
Brasington named a few:
How Do I Know If Analgesics Have Affected My Kidneys
Your doctor can check your kidneys by doing a simple blood test called a serum creatinine level. This test measures the amount of a waste product in your blood that is normally removed by your kidneys. If your kidneys are not working as well as they should, the creatinine level will be increased in your blood. The results of the serum creatinine test can be used to estimate your glomerular filtration rate . Your GFR number tells your doctor how much kidney function you have.
A urine test for the presence of protein may also be done. Persistent protein in the urine may be an early indication of kidney damage.
Before Your Radiology Procedure
Follow these instructions if youre having a radiology procedure . If your healthcare provider gives you other instructions, follow those instead.
- If you take aspirin or a medication that contains aspirin, you may need to stop taking it 5 days before your procedure. Follow your healthcare providers instructions. Dont stop taking aspirin unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
- If you take an NSAID or a medication that contains an NSAID, you may need to stop taking it 24 hours before your procedure. Follow your healthcare providers instructions.
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Before Taking This Medicine
Aleve may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using naproxen, especially in older adults.
You should not use Aleve if you are allergic to naproxen, or if you have ever had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.
Ask a doctor before giving Aleve to a child younger than 12 years old.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have:
heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot
a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding
fluid retention: or
if you take aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke.
If you are pregnant, you should not take Aleve unless your doctor tells you to. Taking a NSAID during the last 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause serious heart or kidney problems in the unborn baby and possible complications with your pregnancy.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using Aleve. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Aleve is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old. Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
How To Pick A Pain Reliever:
Q. Could you please explain the differences between popular OTC pain relievers? How is Advil different from Aleve, and how are these NSAIDs different from aspirin? What makes Excedrin different? I havent needed pain relievers before, but now I do.
This reader is also suffering from pain reliever confusion. He has a similar question:
Q. We have aspirin, Aleve, Tylenol and Advil in our medicine cabinet. All the labels state that they are for pain relief and fever reduction. Whats the difference? And is one better than the others?
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Can I Combine Nsaids With Other Drugs
Do not mix one NSAID with another. For example, don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen with any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, your physician may wish you to combine low-dose aspirin with an NSAID for heart attack or stroke prevention. This is an individual decision for each patient, and you should discuss this with your physician, since combining an NSAID with aspirin can increase the risk of ulcer. Acetaminophen, especially in low dose, appears less likely to irritate the stomach than NSAIDs, so in many cases it is reasonable to take acetaminophen along with NSAIDs.
Always read the ingredients listed on the label of over-the-counter products. If acetylsalicylic acid or salicylate is listed, it may be better not to take this with NSAIDs, unless advised by your physician. Keep in mind that Alka-Seltzer, Anacin and some types of Excedrin contain aspirin.
If you are taking medications for high blood pressure, have your pressure checked regularly while on the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This is especially important within the first several weeks of starting the drug. In some patients, NSAIDs can elevate the blood pressure.
Instructions Before Your Cancer Treatment
If you take aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E, tell your healthcare provider. Theyll tell you if you need to stop taking it. Youll also find instructions in the information about your treatment. Read the Examples of Medications section to see if your medications contain aspirin, other NSAIDs, or vitamin E.
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Prevents Clots From Forming Growing
Most heart attacks and strokes happen when a blood clot forms and blocks blood flow in an artery. Under normal circumstances, the body develops a blood clot to stop the loss of blood after an injury. When a blood vessel is damaged, sticky cells called platelets begin to clump together, while proteins in the blood form strands of fibrin. The fibrin creates a net-like structure that holds the forming clot together. Blood clots can form in damaged vessels of the heart or the brain, and these can block blood to the tissue and cause a heart attack or stroke. Aspirin stops clots from forming by preventing the platelets from clumping together.
If you have had a heart attack or stroke, your doctor may prescribe low-dose aspirin to prevent a second event. Low-dose aspirin has been shown to reduce the risk of a first heart attack but has not been definitively proven to reduce the risk of a stroke. Speak with your physician before starting low-dose aspirin for prevention.
How And When To Take Naproxen
Always take your naproxen tablets with or just after a meal so you do not get an upset stomach.
As a general rule in adults, the dose to treat:
- diseases of joints is 500mg to 1,000mg a day in 1 or 2 doses
- muscle, bone disorders and painful periods is 500mg at first, then 250mg every 6 to 8 hours as required
- attacks of gout is 750mg, then 250mg every 8 hours until the attack has passed
Doses are usually lower for elderly people and people with heart, liver or kidney problems.
The doctor will use your childs weight to work out the right dose.
If you get naproxen on prescription, the dose depends on the reason why youre taking it, your age, how well your liver and kidneys work, and how well it helps your symptoms.
If you buy naproxen from a pharmacy for painful menstrual periods:
- on the first day take 2 tablets when the pain starts, then after 6 to 8 hours take 1 more tablet that day if you need to
- on the second and following days take 1 tablet every 6 to 8 hours if needed
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Ways To Minimize Gastrointestinal Risk
There are several ways to minimize these side effects if taking low-dose aspirin with another NSAID:
- Choose an NSAID less likely to cause bleeding. Some, less common anti-inflammatory drugs like Disalcid , low-dose Celebrex , Voltaren , and Mobic can be effective in treating pain and far less likely to cause bleeding. Moreover, compared to ibuprofen or naproxen, they are less likely to interfere with the cardioprotective benefits of aspirin.
- Use drugs other than NSAIDs to treat arthritis.For those who really need to use a low-dose aspirin and are at risk of gastrointestinal symptoms, changing to non-NSAID-class drugs may be the most appropriate option. These include Tylenol , which relieves pain but has no anti-inflammatory effect, and Ultram , which provides strong pain relief but requires a prescription.
- Use non-oral drug therapies. By avoiding oral medications, you are inherently at lower risk of developing stomach or ulcer problems. Topical analgesic creams that provide a hot or cold sensation are sometimes enough to provide localized pain relief. There are also subdermal patches containing ibuprofen that are reported to provide relief for over 12 hours.
What Strong Painkillers Can I Take
I was going to phone the asthma nurse but the helpline isnt open until tomorrow.
I have fairly mild asthma, mostly well controlled. Ive developed a cold overnight and my peak flow is down today. Im not coughing which is my usual symptom but my chest feels a little tight. Im using Salbutamol regularly to try and ward off an attack, cant double up on the preventer as I already take the max dose.
There is an added complication Ive recently had major abdominal surgery. Ive been taking Diclofenac as the main painkiller since I left hospital just over 2 weeks ago. I know that if I am having an asthma symptoms I have to stop taking it as it can make the asthma worse, but Im still in pain and I dont think I can manage with just paracetamol yet. If I get to the point where I am coughing it is going to hurt even more.
I have some cocodamol which I could take instead of normal paracetamol. Is there anything else I can take?
Im worried about continuing it now that I do have symptoms in case I make the asthma worse.
Guess Ill have to see how I get on today and call the out of hours number if needed.
Thanks for your help.
However, Im no kind of expert so Id agree that you should go back to a different GP for advice but first Id go with your original idea of ringing the helpline as they may have more ideas which you can take to the GP and more knowledge about painkillers with asthma.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Naproxen
Get emergency medical help if you have . signs of an allergic reactionor a severe skin reaction
Stop using naproxen and seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include skin rash, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, leg swelling, feeling short of breath. signs of a heart attack or stroke:
Stop using naproxen and call your doctor at once if you have:
- shortness of breath
- swelling or rapid weight gain
- the first sign of any skin rash or blister, no matter how mild
- signs of stomach bleeding–bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- liver problems–nausea, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice
- kidney problems–little or no urination, painful urination, swelling in your feet or ankles or
- low red blood cells –pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet.
- indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain or
- flu symptoms
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What Other Drugs Will Affect Aleve
Ask your doctor before using Aleve if you take an antidepressant such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine , fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline , trazodone, or vilazodone. Taking any of these medicines with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use Aleve if you are also using any of the following drugs:
phenytoin or similar seizure medications
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When Should I Stop The Drug And Get Immediate Medical Attention
You should cease taking NSAIDs if:
- Signs of allergy occur, such as rapid breathing, gasping, wheezing, hives, skin rashes, puffy eyelids, and/or rapid heart beat.
- You develop:
- vision abnormalities.
- dizziness, depression or confusion.
- yellowing of the eyes that could indicate liver injury .
Aleve Dosages And Forms
Aleve over-the-counter comes in 220 mg. But other naproxen brands are available by prescription and dosages can go as high as 750 mg.
Aleve OTC is available in tablet, gelcap, caplet or liquid gel. But other formulas are available in delayed release tablets, extended release tablets, capsules and oral suspension.
For Aleve OTC, take one 220 mg pill every 8 to 12 hours. For the first dose, patients can take 2 pills within the first hour. Dont take more than 2 pills in 12 hours, and do not take more than 3 pills in 24 hours.
Dont take Aleve for more than 10 consecutive days unless your doctor tells you to. The maximum daily dose for naproxen is 660 mg.
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Does Aleve Contain Acetaminophen
No, Aleve does not contain acetaminophen.
Aleve should not be taken with acetaminophen or any other pain reliever/fever reducer unless your doctor has instructed you to do so.
Do not take Aleve if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Aleve or any other pain reliever/fever reducer.
Naproxen sodium may cause a severe allergic reaction, especially in people allergic to aspirin or other NSAIDs. Symptoms may include hives, facial swelling, asthma , shock, skin reddening, rash or blisters. If an allergic reaction occurs, stop use and seek medical help right away.
How To Take Etoricoxib
- Before you start taking etoricoxib, read the manufacturers printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about the tablets, and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking them.
- Take etoricoxib once each day, exactly as your doctor tells you to. There are four strengths of tablet available 30 mg, 60 mg, 90 mg and 120 mg. You will be prescribed the strength of tablet that suits your condition. People with osteoarthritis are usually prescribed 30 mg once-daily, although the dose can be increased to 60 mg if needed. People with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis are prescribed 60 mg once-daily, although the dose can be increased to 90 mg if it becomes necessary. If you are taking etoricoxib for gout, you will be prescribed a short course of 120 mg strength tablets to take once-daily for up to eight days.
- Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. You can take the tablet either with or without food, although the tablets may work more quickly if they are taken without food.
- Try to take your doses at the same time of day each day as this will help you to remember to take them.
- If you forget to take the tablet at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, leave out the forgotten dose from the previous day and take the dose that is due as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
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Staying Safe With Nsaids
In most cases, common NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen pose very little risk to those who use them. However, they can be a good example of how important it is to remain mindful of the drugs we use on a regular basis. As long as youre aware of the effects of the medications youre using and take them as prescribed, you have little to fear.
If youre looking for more information on the effects of NSAIDs, or other topics relating to substance abuse, get in touch. FHE Health has over 15 years of experience working with the medical aspect of addiction. With a talented multidisciplinary team, we provide our patients with top-level care and attention.
Can I Take Aspirin With Aleve
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