Pronounced (as’ pir in)

Why is Aspirin Prescribed?

Prescription aspirin is used to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and certain other rheumatologic conditions. Nonprescription aspirin is used to reduce fever and to relieve mild to moderate pain from headaches, arthritis, toothaches, and muscle aches. Nonprescription aspirin is also used to prevent heart attacks in those who have had a heart attack in the past or who have angina (chest pain that occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen). Nonprescription aspirin is also used to prevent ischemic strokes or mini-strokes in those who have had this type of stroke or mini-stroke in the past.  Aspirin will not prevent hemorrhagic strokes (strokes caused by bleeding in the brain).

How Does Aspirin Work?

Aspirin is in a group of medications called salicylates. It works by stopping the production of certain natural substances that cause fever, pain, swelling, and blood clots.
Senior woman taking prescription aspirin in her kitchen

Common Side Effects of Aspirin

Aspirin may cause side effects. Tell your healthcare provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fast breathing
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of hearing
  • Bloody vomit
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds