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Aspirin Poisoning

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The doctor will make sure you are able to breathe and will check vital signs including body temperature. The doctor will check alertness by asking you to respond to questions. If you are unconscious, the doctor will give oxygen and perhaps use machines to help you breathe.

Blood will be taken for lab testing. One blood test will measure the amount of salicylate, the active ingredient in aspirin, in your blood. Sometimes the blood level of salicylate can increase over time even though an individual has not taken any more aspirin. This may indicate the person has taken coated tablets or sustained-release tablets, which release salicylate into the bloodstream slowly.

The doctor will make treatment decisions based on the dose of active ingredient ingested, the time over which it was ingested, your age, the symptoms you are experiencing, and your acid-base status. Acid-base status is the balance of acid and base in the blood. Aspirin may change this balance quickly, so the doctor will monitor this to guide treatment.

Aspirin Poisoning Treatment - Self-Care at Home

 Call 911 immediately if a drug overdose is discovered or suspected, and the victim is unconscious, having convulsions, not breathing, or is otherwise seriously ill.

If the person who took the aspirin is not having symptoms, do not wait to see if symptoms develop. Call the local poison control center immediately. It is a good idea to post the telephone number of the local poison control center near the phone. This information can be found at: American Association of Poison Control Centers. Or call (800) 222-1222 if you have a poisoning emergency.

Providing as much information as possible to the poison control center can help determine what the next course of action should be. The poison control center, paramedics, and emergency department staff will want the following information:

  • What medications were taken? Try to locate the medicine container.
  • What is the medicine's name and how many milligrams (mg) is each pill?
  • How much of the medicine did the person take and when was it taken?
  • Was the medicine taken with alcohol or any other drugs or chemicals?
  • How old is the person who took the medicine?
  • What are the current symptoms?
  • Is the person conscious?
  • Is the person breathing?
  • What medical conditions does the person have?

Although ipecac syrup was used in the past to make the victim vomit, it is rarely recommended today and is not usually appropriate in aspirin poisoning. Causing vomiting creates the risk of an altered mental status or convulsions.

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