Check the labels of all nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) and prescription medicines you now take. If any contain aspirin or other salicylates (including bismuth subsalicylate [e.g., Pepto-Bismol] or any shampoo or skin medicine that contains salicylic acid or any other salicylate), check with your health care professional. Taking or using them together with this medicine may cause an overdose.
If you will be taking salicylates for a long time (more than 5 days in a row for children or 10 days in a row for adults) or in large amounts, your doctor should check your progress at regular visits.
Serious side effects can occur during treatment with this medicine. Sometimes serious side effects can occur without any warning. However, possible warning signs often occur, including swelling of the face, fingers, feet, and/or lower legs; severe stomach pain, black, tarry stools, and/or vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds; unusual weight gain; and/or skin rash. Also, signs of serious heart problems could occur such as chest pain, tightness in chest, fast or irregular heartbeat, or unusual flushing or warmth of skin. Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor immediately if you notice any of these warning signs.
Check with your medical doctor or dentist:
- If you are taking this medicine to relieve pain and the pain lasts for more than 10 days (5 days for children) or if the pain gets worse, if new symptoms occur, or if redness or swelling is present. These could be signs of a serious condition that needs medical or dental treatment.
- If you are taking this medicine to bring down a fever, and the fever lasts for more than 3 days or returns, if the fever gets worse, if new symptoms occur, or if redness or swelling is present. These could be signs of a serious condition that needs treatment.
- If you are taking this medicine for a sore throat, and the sore throat is very painful, lasts for more than 2 days, or occurs together with or is followed by fever, headache, skin rash, nausea, or vomiting.
- If you are taking this medicine regularly, as for arthritis (rheumatism), and you notice a ringing or buzzing in your ears or severe or continuing headaches. These are often the first signs that too much salicylate is being taken. Your doctor may want to change the amount of medicine you are taking every day.
For patients taking aspirin to lessen the chance of heart attack, stroke, or other problems caused by blood clots:
- Take only the amount of aspirin ordered by your doctor. If you need a medicine to relieve pain, a fever, or arthritis, your doctor may not want you to take extra aspirin. It is a good idea to discuss this with your doctor, so that you will know ahead of time what medicine to take.
- Do not stop taking this medicine for any reason without first checking with the doctor who directed you to take it.
Taking certain other medicines together with a salicylate may increase the chance of unwanted effects. The risk will depend on how much of each medicine you take every day, and on how long you take the medicines together. If your doctor directs you to take these medicines together on a regular basis, follow his or her directions carefully. However, do not take any of the following medicines together with a salicylate for more than a few days, unless your doctor has directed you to do so and is following your progress:
- Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
- Diclofenac (e.g., Voltaren)
- Diflunisal (e.g., Dolobid)
- Etodolac (e.g., Lodine)
- Fenoprofen (e.g., Nalfon)
- Floctafenine (e.g., Idarac)
- Flurbiprofen, oral (e.g., Ansaid)
- Ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin)
- Indomethacin (e.g., Indocin)
- Ketoprofen (e.g., Orudis)
- Ketorolac (e.g., Toradol)
- Meclofenamate (e.g., Meclomen)
- Mefenamic acid (e.g., Ponstel)
- Nabumetone (e.g., Relafen)
- Naproxen (e.g., Naprosyn)
- Oxaprozin (e.g., Daypro)
- Phenylbutazone (e.g., Butazolidin)
- Piroxicam (e.g., Feldene)
- Sulindac (e.g., Clinoril)
- Tenoxicam (e.g., Mobiflex)
- Tiaprofenic acid (e.g., Surgam)
- Tolmetin (e.g., Tolectin)
For diabetic patients:
- False urine sugar test results may occur if you are regularly taking large amounts of salicylates, such as:
- Aspirin: 8 or more 325-mg (5-grain), or 4 or more 500-mg or 650-mg (10-grain), or 3 or more 800-mg (or higher strength), doses a day.
- Buffered aspirin or
- Sodium salicylate: 8 or more 325-mg (5-grain), or 4 or more 500-mg or 650-mg (10-grain), doses a day.
- Choline salicylate: 4 or more teaspoonfuls (each teaspoonful containing 870 mg) a day.
- Choline and magnesium salicylates: 5 or more 500-mg tablets or teaspoonfuls, 4 or more 750-mg tablets, or 2 or more 1000-mg tablets, a day.
- Magnesium salicylate: 7 or more regular-strength, or 4 or more extra-strength, tablets a day.
- Salsalate: 4 or more 500-mg doses, or 3 or more 750-mg doses, a day.
- Smaller doses or occasional use of salicylates usually will not affect urine sugar tests. However, check with your health care professional (especially if your diabetes is not well-controlled) if:
- you are not sure how much salicylate you are taking every day.
- you notice any change in your urine sugar test results.
- you have any other questions about this possible problem.
Do not take aspirin for 5 days before any surgery, including dental surgery, unless otherwise directed by your medical doctor or dentist. Taking aspirin during this time may cause bleeding problems.
For patients taking buffered aspirin, choline and magnesium salicylates (e.g., Trilisate), or magnesium salicylate (e.g., Doan's):
- Buffered aspirin, choline and magnesium salicylates, or magnesium salicylate can keep many other medicines, especially some medicines used to treat infections, from working properly. This problem can be prevented by not taking the 2 medicines too close together. Ask your health care professional how long you should wait between taking a medicine for infection and taking buffered aspirin, choline and magnesium salicylates, or magnesium salicylate.
If you are taking a laxative containing cellulose, take the salicylate at least 2 hours before or after you take the laxative. Taking these medicines too close together may lessen the effects of the salicylate.
For patients taking this medicine by mouth:
- Stomach problems may be more likely to occur if you drink alcoholic beverages while being treated with this medicine, especially if you are taking it in high doses or for a long time. Check with your doctor if you have any questions about this.
For patients using aspirin suppositories:
- Aspirin suppositories may cause irritation of the rectum. Check with your doctor if this occurs.
Salicylates may interfere with the results of some medical tests. Before you have any medical tests, tell the doctor in charge if you have taken any of these medicines within the past week. If possible, it is best to check with the doctor first, to find out whether the medicine may be taken during the week before the test.
For patients taking one of the products that contain caffeine:
- Caffeine may interfere with the result of a test that uses adenosine (e.g., Adenocard) or dipyridamole (e.g., Persantine) to help find out how well your blood is flowing through certain blood vessels. Therefore, you should not have any caffeine for at least 8 to 12 hours before the test.
If you think that you or anyone else may have taken an overdose, get emergency help at once. Taking an overdose of these medicines may cause unconsciousness or death. Signs of overdose include convulsions (seizures), hearing loss, confusion, ringing or buzzing in the ears, severe drowsiness or tiredness, severe excitement or nervousness, and fast or deep breathing.