A nonopioid analgesic drug used to treat disorders such as headache, menstrual pain, and muscle discomfort. Aspirin has an anti-inflammatory action and is particularly useful for joint pain in arthritis. It reduces fever and is included in some cold remedies. In small doses, it reduces the stickiness of platelets (blood particles involved in clotting). This has led to its use in preventing thrombosis in people at risk of developing stroke or myocardial infarction and as initial treatment of chest pain that may be due to myocardial infarction. Aspirin may also reduce the risk of colon cancer and slow the progress of dementia. Aspirin is not usually given to children because there is a slight risk of Reye’s syndrome (a rare brain and liver disorder) developing. Aspirin may cause irritation of the stomach lining, resulting in indigestion or nausea. Prolonged use may cause bleeding from the stomach due to gastric erosion or peptic ulcer.


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