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Aspirin.

VOL: 101, ISSUE: 06, PAGE NO: 39

Generic/proprietary names

 

Generic/proprietary names
- Aspirin: Caprin, Nu-Seals Aspirin.

 

 

- Many compound analgesic preparations contain aspirin.

 

 

Action
- Blocks pain impulses in the central nervous system, inhibits prostaglandin synthesis, causes peripheral vasodilation resulting in antipyretic properties, decreases platelet aggregation.

 

 

Indications
- Mild to moderate pain.

 

 

- Pyrexia.

 

 

- Secondary cerebrovascular or cardiovascular disease prevention.

 

 

Contraindications
- Age under 16 years.

 

 

- Breastfeeding.

 

 

- Previous peptic ulceration.

 

 

- Haemophilia.

 

 

- Hypersensitivity, including asthma, angioedema urticaria or rhinitis linked to aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

 

 

Cautions
- Asthma.

 

 

- Allergic disease.

 

 

- Impaired liver or kidney function.

 

 

- Dehydration.

 

 

Side-effects
Side-effects are few and are mainly mild except for:

 

 

- A high incidence of gastro-intestinal irritation with slight asymptomatic blood loss;

 

 

- Bronchospasm;

 

 

- Increased bleeding time;

 

 

- Possible skin reactions in hypersensitive patients.

 

 

Interactions
- Increased risk of bleeding with anticoagulants and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

 

 

- Decreased effects with high-dose antiacids and steroids.

 

 

- Possibility of increased side-effects with other NSAIDs.

 

 

- Increases the effects of warfarin, and other medication such as insulin, methotrexate and phenytoin.

 

 

Administration
- Nurse prescribers: oral only.

 

 

- Available as regular, coated, and extended-release tablets or capsules.

 

 

- Other preparations include chewable tablets, liquid form and dispersible tablets.

 

 

- Also available as a suppository.

 

 

Patient teaching
- Possible gastric irritation is limited by taking aspirin after food.

 

 

- Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children.

 

 

- Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

 

 

- Store aspirin suppositories in a cool place or in a refrigerator.

 

 

- Take any missed doses as soon as you remember. But do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

 

 

- Do not break, crush, or chew extended-release tablets and do not open extended-release capsules. Swallow them whole.

 

 

- Always read the label of any over-the-counter medications to check for aspirin content.

 

 

- Restrict alcohol intake.

 

 

- Report any tinnitus, sweating or hyperventilation to the prescribing health care professional.

 

 

Nursing considerations
- For patients who have had oral or dental surgery or tonsillectomy in the last seven days avoid chewable or dispersible aspirin tablets, or aspirin in crushed tablets or gargles.

 

 

- Assess pain and/or pyrexia one hour before or after medication.

 

 

- In long-term therapy monitor renal and liver function and ototoxicity.

 

 

- Assess other medication for possible interactions - especially warfarin which is a special hazard.

 

 

- Be aware that aspirin is a common constituent of a variety of over-the-counter medications.

 

 

Nurses should refer to manufacturer’s summary of product characteristics and to appropriate local guidelines

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