Aspirin side effects: ‘Call your doctor’ if you experience painful joints in two body part

Dr Chris reveals he takes 'low dose aspirin every day'

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Aspirin is a popular painkiller in the UK, used for everyday aches and pains such as headache, toothache and period pain. It can also help to reduce a high temperature so is useful in treating colds and flu-like symptoms. Side effects of the drug are unusual but do exist.

The NHS says: “It happens rarely, but some people have serious side effects after taking aspirin.”

These serious side effects include pain in the joints of your hands and feet.

“This can be a sign of high levels of uric acid in the blood,” the NHS explains.

Or swollen hands or feet “can be a sign of water retention”.

The service urges people to call a doctor or 111 if they experience either of those issues.

Other serious side effects of aspirin that require you to seek medical attention, are coughing up blood or if you have blood in your pee, poo or vomit.

And you should seek help if the whites of your eyes or your skin turns yellow, or your pee gets darker.

This can be a sign of liver problems caused by the aspirin.


More common side effects that impact more than one in 100 people include:

  • Mild indigestion
  • Bleeding more easily than normal

There are certain health conditions which may mean you should avoid taking aspirin.

The NHS adds: “Aspirin can cause ulcers in your stomach or gut, especially if you take it for a long time or in big doses.

“Your doctor may tell you not to take aspirin if you have a stomach ulcer, or if you’ve had one in the past.

“If you’re at risk of getting a stomach ulcer and you need a painkiller, take paracetamol instead of aspirin as it’s more gentle on your stomach.”

The NHS advises people to take aspirin with food.

“That way, you’ll be less likely to get an upset stomach or stomach ache,” it says.

It also shouldn’t be given to children under the age of 16, unless they have been prescribed it by their doctor.

The drug comes in the form of tablets or suppositories.

But it also comes as a gel for mouth ulcers and cold sores.

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