Aspirin: Contraindications & Indications

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  • 0:03 Aspirin
  • 0:35 Aspirin Indications
  • 2:29 Aspirin Contraindications
  • 3:39 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Justine Fritzel

Justine has been a Registered Nurse for 10 years and has a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree.

Aspirin is often referred to as a wonder drug because of its many uses. However, not everyone should take aspirin. In this lesson, we'll learn about the indications for aspirin use and also look at the contraindications for aspirin.

Aspirin

Aspirin is a drug that's been in use since the 1800s. The main ingredient in aspirin is found in plant extracts. A chemist made a form of this compound called acetylsalicylic acid, and it has been widely used since that time. Aspirin has been called a wonder drug because it can be used for so many different things and is tolerated by most people.

In fact, in 1950, aspirin was recognized as the world's top selling drug. Each year, 100 billion aspirin tablets are produced! So, what's so amazing about this drug to earn the title of wonder drug?

Aspirin Indications

Susie always has a bottle of aspirin handy. Her coworkers know to find her if they have a headache and need an aspirin. Last week, she twisted her ankle causing pain and swelling, but her reliable aspirin has been helping to manage that, too! They tease her at work calling her the aspirin queen.

Aspirin has some very common well known uses. It can be used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. When an injury or illness occurs, substances are released in the body causing these symptoms. Aspirin works by stopping these substances, therefore controlling the symptoms.

Susie's husband is also a fan of aspirin. Last year, he experienced chest pain and was told he had a mild heart attack. His doctor advised him to take an aspirin daily to help prevent another heart attack.

The body has different processes to protect it, one of which is blood clots. If you cut yourself, your body works to stop the bleeding by forming a blood clot, which can be lifesaving. Sometimes however, blood clots will form and cause life-threatening conditions. If a clot forms and travels to the heart, it can cause a heart attack, or if the clot travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke.

Platelets are in the blood and help to form clots. Aspirin works as a blood thinner by preventing the platelets from forming a clot. If your doctor feels you're at risk for a heart attack or stroke, he or she may advise you to take aspirin regularly to decrease your risk.

Aspirin has many other uses that may not be as common. If you have a bug bite, wet your skin and rub an aspirin over the bite to help relieve inflammation. Add a few tablets of aspirin to water to make a paste and use it as a face mask to improve your complexion. If you have a vase of fresh-cut flowers, add an aspirin to the water to help the flowers last longer. If your blonde hair turns green when you go swimming, dissolve several tablets of aspirin in water and rub them into your hair to counteract the effects from the chlorine.

You may be thinking this truly is a wonder drug, but like any drug, there are risks and side effects to be aware of. Let's look at the contraindications to taking aspirin next.

Aspirin Contraindications

Susie's husband has been taking his daily aspirin as advised by his doctor. He has had increased stress related to his heart attack last year and now changes at his job. He has been drinking a whiskey and coke each night after work. Over the last week, he has been feeling more tired than usual and has had black tarry stools. He sees his doctor and is told he is bleeding in his stomach.

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