Chronic pain: Expert discusses 'conflict' with using painkillers
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Aspirin is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Therefore, it can also be used to treat colds and flu-like symptoms, and to bring down a high temperature. While most people won’t experience any negative side effects from use, others will.
The NHS advises that if you notice blood in your pee or poo after taking aspirin you should “call your doctor or 111 immediately”.
This is a “rare” yet “serious” side effect of the drug.
You should also seek medical help if you spot blood in your vomit.
The health service also warns of other serious side effects.
If the whites of your eyes turn yellow or your skin turns yellow, this could signal liver problems.
Or if the joints in your hands and feet become painful it can be a sign of high levels of uric acid in the blood.
And if your hands or feet are swollen it can be a sign of water retention.
More common side effects of aspirin that one in 100 people experience include mild indigestion and bleeding more easily than usual.
Taking aspirin comes with a number of caveats.
The NHS says: “It’s best to take aspirin with food.
“That way, you’ll be less likely to get an upset stomach or stomach ache.
“Never give aspirin to children under the age of 16 (unless their doctor prescribes it).
“It can make children more likely to develop a very rare but serious condition called Reye’s syndrome.”
It is also important to know that aspirin can cause ulcers in your stomach or gut, especially if taken for a long time or in big doses.
As a result, people who already have stomach ulcers or have had one in the past might be advised against taking it.
“If you’re at risk of getting a stomach ulcer and you need a painkiller, take paracetamol instead of aspirin as it’s more gentle on your stomach,” the NHS recommends.
Aspirin typically comes in the form of 300 milligram tablets.
The normal dose is one or two tablets, to be taken every four to six hours.
But it is important you do not take more than 12 tablets over the course of 24 hours.
And you must wait at least four hours between doses.
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