Aspirin Regimen Bayer children's chewable tablets is also known as Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA,Aspirin). This medication is classified as a nonnarcotic analgesic (for pain), antipyretic (for fever), anti-inflammatory agent. I am only going to focus on the 81mg chewable tablet that comes in orange or cherry flavor. There are other strengths and forms of Bayer Aspirin including suppositories, but I want to discuss the purpose of the children's chewable tablets and why adults may use them also.
Recommend this product?
When I was a child, many, many years ago, all we had to take for fever or pain was baby aspirins. Now there are better choices of medicine for children like Tylenol or Motrin. One reason pediatricians stopped using aspirin in children is that if a child or teenager has chicken-pox or flu there is a possibility of developing Reye's syndrome. I know of one incident in my hometown where a mother gave her son baby aspirin for his flu symptoms and he died from Reye's syndrome.
In most of the literature that I have read, they recommend administering baby aspirins to 2-3 years old 162mg (2 chewable tablets) every 4 hours if needed. In 4-5 years old they recommend 243mg (3 chewable tablets) every 4 hours as needed. In 6-8 years old you may give 320-325mg (4 chewable tablets) every 4 hours as needed. In 9-10 years old, you may give 405mg (5 chewable tablets) every 4 hours as needed. And for 11 years of age they may take 486mg (6 chewable tablets) every 4 hours as needed. In 12-14 years of age, they may take 648mg (8 chewable tablets) every 4 hours if needed. For certain illnesses like arthritis or rheumatic disease in children, the physician may use the formula 65mg/kg/day in divided doses every 4-6 hours, not to exceed 3.6g/day.
Why are adults using baby aspirins? There have been different studies on using this medication in adults that show it is effective in reducing the risk of heart attacks, stroke and other vascular deaths (like embolism which is a blood clot)in men at high risk for these diseases. A dose as low as half a baby aspirin daily is just as effective as higher amounts! One fact that I was not aware of was that the American Cancer Society released a study in 1991 that stated that "the risk of fatal colon cancer may be reduced by as much as 50% through regular low dose aspirin use." They still need to do further studies before there will be enough information to say that aspirin is a preventative for colon cancer.
Adults who have difficulty swallowing pills would benefit from using the chewable tablets. It has been proven that low doses of aspirin and warfarin (which is a blood thinner) reduce the risk of a second heart attack. It may be used in unstable angina (chest pain),MI (mycardial infarction) and aortocoronary bypass surgery. Bayer children's aspirin is caffeine-free and sodium-free. This is important when treating patients with kidney or cardiac problems.
We know that it is used for pain, fever, headaches, arthritis, gout and many other conditions. If may be used chronically to prevent cataract formation and in low doses to prevent toxemia of pregnancy where there is inadequate uteroplacental blood flow.
The contraindications include hypersensitivity to salicylates. This would include people with asthma, hay fever, or nasal polyps who have a higher occurence of hypersensitivity reactions. Do not take aspirin in the last trimester to prevent problems in the newborn baby or complications during delivery, such as hemorrhaging, anemia, etc. It can cause problems for those with gastric or peptic ulcers, mild diabetes, erosive gastritis, bleeding tendencies, and liver or kidney disease.
Some side effects of taking this medication are, dyspepsia, heartburn, anorexia, nausea, occult blood loss, epigastric discomfort, massive gastrointestinal bleeding. Some of the allergic reactions may vary from skin rashes, rhinitis, nasal polyps to prolong bleeding time, purpura (brusing easily), and lower plasma iron levels. I have already mentioned the risk of Reye's syndrome. If a child is dehydrated from a fever, he/she may be more prone to getting salicylate intoxication.
The more I read on the side effects and symptoms of severe salicylate poisoning, the more I do not recommend giving it to children or elderly people that are susceptible to getting dehydrated. You should drink more fluids whild taking this medication. In overdose, one method of treatment is hemodialysis for severe poisonings. That is why we must keep all medications out of the reach of children or confused adults who may be forgetful and take too many doses.
So, who should take this medication? I personally would not take it on a regular basis or give it to children without a physician's order. There are too many safer medications that can be used that have less side effects. If you are ever uncertain about the doses, please contact your physician or the pharmacy. A local pharmacist told me that the reason there is only 36 chewable tablets in children's aspirin bottles is that this is the most a child can take without a lethal overdose. Thank you.
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