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What does it do?

Aspirin reduces pain, inflammation and fever.

How should you take it?

Take aspirin tablets with food and a glass of water.
Swallow the coated tablets whole. Do not crush or chew them.
Dissolve the soluble tablets in water before taking.
Remove the wrapper before inserting the suppositories into the rectum.

What if you forget a dose?

If you take aspirin regularly and it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with aspirin including:

  • anti-inflammatories, such as diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren®), or ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen®). These can also be found in some cold and flu medicines (e.g. Nurofen Cold and Flu®), and creams or gels (e.g. Voltaren Emulgel®).
  • low-dose aspirin (e.g. Cartia®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Stomach pain, coughing or vomiting of blood, black bowel motions

Symptoms of allergy including: skin rash, itching, swelling, trouble breathing

Easy/unusual bruising or bleeding

Tell your doctor immediately

Ringing in the ears

Tell your doctor

Indigestion, nausea

Anal irritation with suppository use

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have stomach, liver, kidney, or bleeding problems, or if you have high blood pressure, G6PD deficiency or asthma.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had problems with anti-inflammatories.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Aspirin should not be used in children without medical advice.
  • In most cases, paracetamol and/or codeine may be safely used while taking aspirin.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. September 2017

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed