Surprising Cautions of Aspirin and Antacid Drugs | Enteric-coated aspirin
In recent years, the growing concern of adults improperly using and mixing medications has become a public health concern.
Even worse, these dangerous concoctions are conveniently at arms reach throughout shelves across the country.
The FDA is currently investigating 8 cases of severe bleeding associated with stomach remedies that contain aspirin.
Despite the warning signs of bleeding on warning labels, the FDA continues to receive reports of this serious safety issue.
As a result, the FDA and external experts continue to pursue an investigation to provide input on whether additional FDA actions are needed.
In the article below, our medical malpractice lawyers will examine the surprising cautions of aspirin and antacid drugs.
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The Dangers of Aspirin
It is no secret that even low dose Aspirin is well known to cause internal bleeding.
This isn’t the first time the FDA issued a warning regarding stomach bleeding and the use of aspirin. Other related drugs such as ibuprofen do as well.
They’re known as a non-steroidal anti-inflam, or anti-inflammatory, drug or NSAID.
The issue lies in many people do not realize antacids and various stomach remedies already contain aspirin.
Risks of serious health problems increase if you have the following:
- History of ulcers
- Heavy drinking
- People who already take an NSAID for something else
- People over the age of 60 have a higher risk of stomach bleeding.
It is highly recommended that high-risk candidates look at the drug label before purchasing an antacid product.
You should be able to find an over-the-counter product that doesn’t contain aspirin.
Warning signs of stomach or intestinal bleeding include:
- feeling faint
- Vomiting blood
- Passing black or bloody stools
- abdominal pain
- stomach pain
If you have these signs, consult a health care provider right away.
3 Types of OTC Medicines That Treat Heartburn
- Antacids neutralize the amount of acid your stomach produces. They can provide short-term fast relief.
- H2 blockers reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes. While they don’t relieve symptoms right away, H2 blockers relieve symptoms for a longer period than antacids. They usually start to work within the hour. Examples of H2 blockers are Ranitidine (brand name: Zantac) or Famotidine (brand name: Pepcid)
- Proton pump inhibitors greatly reduce your body’s production of acid. It may take a little longer for proton pump inhibitors to relieve your symptoms than H2 blockers, but relief will last longer. These medicines are most helpful to people who have symptoms lasting longer than two days a week.
Beware of products sold under the various trade name, like:
- Alka-Seltzer Original
- Bromo Seltzer
- MediqueMedi Seltzer
- Picot Plus Effervescent
- Vida Mia Pain Relief
- Winco Foods Effervescent Antacid and Pain Relief
- Zee-Seltzer Antacid and Pain Reliever.
Serious outcomes include death, hospitalization, life-threatening, disability, congenital anomaly, and other serious outcomes
FAERS Reporting by Patient Outcomes by Year
As you can see, the effects of OTC medications and prescription drugs affects millions of Americans each year.
If you suffered harm that could have been avoided under normal standards of care, then you may have a valid case for seeking injury compensation.
Medical Malpractice occurs when a person sustains an injury or death due to negligent care by a medical professional, medical institution, and even drug manufacturers.
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Who Can Take Antacids?
Most people can take antacids without issue.
But, people with certain medical conditions should consult with their doctor before they start taking antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate.
People with heart failure might have sodium restrictions to decrease fluid buildup, but antacids usually contain a good amount of sodium.
If that’s a concern for you, speak with your doctor before taking antacids.
If you have kidney failure, you could develop a buildup of aluminum after using antacids leading to aluminum toxicity.
If you have kidney failure, you may also have problems with electrolyte balance.
Antacids contain electrolytes, which could make electrolyte any balance problems worse.
It would help if you also spoke to your child’s doctor before giving your child antacids.
Children don’t usually have excess stomach acid symptoms, so their symptoms could be related to another condition.
An antacid product taken with a blood thinner like warfarin could also cause drug interactions.
Always check with a healthcare professional before you start taking a new medication.
Who Should Take Aspirin?
Doctors commonly use aspirin to lower heart attack risks and prevent blood clotting.
Patients who have suffered a heart attack or an ischemic stroke (the type caused by a blood clot) are wise to take a low-dose (81-mg) aspirin every day.
Aspirin works by preventing platelets from clumping together in your blood and forming a clot.
Most heart attacks are from a clot blocking blood flow in a vessel that feeds the heart, so decreasing the clot-forming process lowers your odds of blockage.
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Risks of Bleeding
While lowering the body’s ability to clot, aspirin also hinders important substances that protect the stomach’s delicate lining.
As a result, stomach upset or bleeding in the stomach and intestines can occur. This may be where the suggestion started of merging aspirin and antacid to help stomach upset?
Many people believe if you stick to an enteric-coated or buffered aspirin it protects and causes less irritation to the stomach.
Most of the aspirin sold in the United States is enteric-coated (sometimes called safety coated.) The coating allows the aspirin to pass through the stomach to the intestine before fully dissolving.
That is supposed to lessen stomach upset, but in reality, aspirin affects the entire digestive system tract via the bloodstream.
In fact, studies show that not all aspirin in coated pills gets to your circulation, which can compromise heart benefits.
Digestive disease expert Dr. Loren Laine, a professor of medicine at Yale University, says, “Enteric-coated aspirin does not decrease the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding compared with uncoated aspirin,” The same goes for buffered aspirin, which combines an antacid such as calcium carbonate (found in Tums) or aluminum hydroxide (found in Maalox) with aspirin.
Evidence shows buffered aspirin with an antacid does not provide better protection to the stomach.
- The coating in the aspirin requires an acidic environment to remain stable until it passes through the stomach. Antacids will cause the coating to dissolve too soon.
- Also, Aspirin works by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which help protect the stomach. Antacids won’t prevent this.
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