Aspirin - good and bad for the body
Acetylsalicylic acid was first synthesized in the middle of the XIX century. For medical use, the drug was obtained in the laboratory of the German company Bayer AG in 1897. From here he began his victorious procession, having received the name "Aspirin". The original raw material for it was the willow bark. Currently, aspirin is produced chemically. At first, only the antipyretic effect of the drug was known. Then during the twentieth century, physicians discovered its new properties.
For a long time, aspirin was considered absolutely safe and even recommended taking for prophylactic purposes. Today, the opinions of doctors on this issue are divided. What is the benefit and harm of aspirin? How to use it and who can not be treated with acetylsalicylic acid? Is it possible to poison with aspirin?
How does aspirin work
Today, acetylsalicylic acid has been thoroughly studied. A lot of experience in clinical trials has been accumulated. The medicine belongs to the most important drugs and is included in the list of irreplaceable drugs both in Russia and on the recommendations of WHO.
This popularity of acetylsalicylic acid is explained by the fact that, with a minimum of side effects, it has antipyretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic and antiplatelet effect. The drug belongs to the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It inhibits the synthesis of thromboxanes and prostaglandins, and unlike other drugs from this group (diclofenac, ibuprofen) does this irreversibly.
- The antipyretic property of aspirin is based on the effect of the drug on the center of thermoregulation in the brain. Under the influence of acetylsalicylic acid, vessels dilate and sweating increases, which leads to a decrease in body temperature.
- Anesthetic effect is achieved both by direct action on mediators in the inflammation zone, and by influence on the central nervous system.
- Antiaggregant action, - the dilution of blood, is caused by the action on platelets. Aspirin prevents them from sticking together and forming blood clots.
- Anti-inflammatory effect is achieved due to a decrease in the permeability of small vessels in the focus of inflammation, inhibition of the synthesis of inflammatory factors, and restriction of access to energy resources of cells.
Acetylsalicylic acid is available in tablets; abroad - in powders and candles. Based on salicylates, many drugs with a similar effect have been created. Also, a large number of combined medicines are produced: Citramon, Askofen, Cofil, Acelizin, Asfen and others.
The use of aspirin
Indications for the use of acetylsalicylic acid are:
- increased body temperature in infectious and inflammatory diseases;
- pain of mild and moderate intensity of various origins (headache, myalgia, neuralgia);
- primary and secondary prevention of myocardial infarction;
- prevention of blood clots and emboli;
- rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis;
- myocarditis of infectious and allergic origin;
- prevention of circulatory disorders in the brain by ischemic type.
How to take aspirin? For long-term treatment, the medicine should be prescribed by a doctor. Doses are selected individually, because the therapeutic range is wide enough.
Adult patients are prescribed from 40 mg to 1 g per reception. The daily dosage ranges from 150 mg to 8 g. Take aspirin 2-6 times a day, after meals. Tablets need to be crushed and washed down with plenty of water or milk. To reduce the negative effects on the gastric mucosa during prolonged treatment with aspirin, it is recommended to drink it with alkaline mineral water.
If the medicine is taken without the supervision of a doctor, then the duration of the course should not exceed 7 days as an anesthetic and 3 days as an antipyretic.
Contraindications for use
Is aspirin harmful? Of course, like any medicine, it has its contraindications for use:
- ulcerative diseases of the stomach and intestines;
- bleeding in the organs of the gastrointestinal tract;
- previously observed allergic reactions to acetylsalicylic acid;
- reduced number of platelets in the blood;
- vitamin K deficiency;
- portal hypertension;
- exfoliating aortic aneurysm;
- the first and third trimesters of pregnancy;
- liver failure;
- kidney failure;
- before surgery.
With caution apply the drug in patients predisposed to the accumulation of uric acid in the body (gout). Even in small doses, aspirin delays the withdrawal of this substance, which can cause a gout attack.
The medicine can cause harm and with improper dosage or as a result of interaction with other drugs. The negative effect on the body of aspirin is in the following factors.
- Salicylates affect the gastric mucosa and can cause it to ulcer.
- Reduction of blood clotting under certain conditions leads to bleeding in the stomach and intestines, with surgical interventions, with heavy menstruation.
- Aspirin has a teratogenic effect on the developing fetus (causes ugliness), therefore it is forbidden to use in pregnant women.
- In acute viral diseases in children up to 12-15 years of age, such as measles, smallpox, influenza, aspirin treatment can provoke hepatic encephalopathy (a disease that destroys liver and brain cells). Pathology was first described in the United States and was called Reye's syndrome.
Sometimes doctors prescribe "Aspirin cardio" during pregnancy. This is usually done to reduce blood coagulability or prevent heart disease. In this case, it is necessary to weigh the benefits of the medicine and the possible harm from it in relation to the mother and the child.
It is forbidden to combine the intake of aspirin and alcohol. This combination is fraught with gastric bleeding. But with a hangover syndrome, aspirin is taken as an anesthetic and blood thinning remedy, it is part of many pharmacy products from a hangover.
Acetylsalicylic acid can cause allergy by the type of bronchial asthma. Symptomocomplex is called "aspirin triad" and includes bronchospasm, polyps in the nose and intolerance to salicylates.
The benefits of aspirin and harm - what more?
In the discussion on the benefits and harms of aspirin, various facts are being voiced. So, according to the US studies, regular intake of aspirin reduces the risk of development:
- bowel cancer by 40%;
- prostate cancer by 10%;
- lung cancer by 30%;
- oncology of the throat and esophagus by 60%.
According to other data, in people aged 50 to 80 years, prone to heart disease with regular use of acetylsalicylic acid prolongs life, and mortality from these diseases is lower by 25% compared with the control group.
Cardiologists say that the benefit of taking aspirin in cardiovascular pathologies is immeasurably greater than the possible harm. This largely applies to women during menopause, in whom the drug improves blood circulation, reduces the likelihood of thrombosis and the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
At the same time, there are disturbing publications. According to a group of researchers in the United States from the uncontrolled use of aspirin annually die more than 16 thousand people. Finnish doctors published data suggesting that taking acetylsalicylic acid doubles the death rate after a brain hemorrhage (compared to those who did not use aspirin). Researchers-historians have put forward the version that the high mortality from the "Spanish" in 1918 is associated with the massive use of aspirin in large doses (10-30 grams each).
What is more in aspirin - benefit or harm? As any drug, acetylsalicylic acid should be used only if there is evidence for its use. With a number of diseases: increased blood coagulability, a tendency to thrombosis, heart problems - taking aspirin for a long time is fully justified. The dose should be discussed with the attending physician, he will also appoint studies that monitor the side effects of the drug.
You can not take acetylsalicylic acid if there are contraindications: pregnancy, children under 15, acute viral diseases with high fever, ulcerous lesions of the stomach and intestines. It is forbidden to combine the intake of aspirin and alcoholic beverages, since this combination increases the negative effect of the drug on the gastric mucosa and can lead to ulceration and bleeding.