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Aspirin combination (By mouth)

Treats headache, minor pain, body aches, and drowsiness or tiredness.

Brand Name(s):

Alka-Seltzer, Alka-Seltzer Extra Strength, Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief, Ascriptin, Ascriptin Maximum Strength, Bc Headache Powder, Bc Powder Arthritis Strength, Bufferin, Bufferin Extra Strength, Equagesic, Goody's Fast Pain Relief, Medi-Seltzer, Ohmni-Cen, Pain Relief, Quality Choice Effervescent Pain Relief

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to aspirin, caffeine, or any other ingredients listed on the package label. You should not use this medicine during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Do not give this medicine to children younger than 12 years old, unless a doctor tells you to. This medicine should not be given to children or teenagers with fever, chickenpox, or symptoms of the flu or viral infection. Aspirin can cause a serious disease called Reye's syndrome in children or teenagers. You should not use this medicine if you are on a low-salt diet, unless your doctor tells you to. You should not use this medicine if you have an active stomach ulcer or any kind of bleeding problem.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Fizzy Tablet, Liquid, Packet

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • Drink a full glass of water with each dose of this medicine.
  • If you are using the effervescent tablet form of this medicine, dissolve the tablets fully in 4 ounces of water. Drink all of this mixture right away.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
  • If this medicine has a strong vinegar smell, throw it away and do not use it.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking any medicine to treat diabetes or gout. Tell your doctor if you take a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®), or if you have recently received medicine to treat a blood clot such as urokinase (Abbokinase®), streptokinase (Streptase®), or alteplase (Activase®).
  • Avoid using other pain or arthritis medicine such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®), ketoprofen (Oruvail®), indomethacin (Indocin®), Celebrex®, Daypro®, or Relafen® while you are using this medicine.
  • Avoid foods, drinks, or other medicines that contain caffeine or stimulants, including diet pills. If you take them together with this medicine, you may get too much caffeine and have unwanted side effects.
  • Make sure that none of the other medicines you are using also contain aspirin.
  • Aspirin can cause stomach bleeding. Drinking alcohol can make this worse. If you have 3 or more drinks of alcohol every day, ask your doctor if you should use this medicine. One drink of alcohol is the same as 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1 ounce of hard liquor (gin, whiskey, and others).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have asthma, gout, arthritis, or diabetes. Tell your doctor if you have liver disease, bleeding problems such as hemophilia, frequent upset stomach, or a stomach disorder such as an ulcer, heartburn, or GERD (reflux disease).
  • Some forms of this medicine may contain sodium and phenylalanine. Read the label before using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you are on a salt-restricted diet, or if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
  • Tell your doctor if you have had a fever for more than 3 days, a sore throat for more than 2 days, or pain for more than 10 days. If you are using this medicine to treat a hangover, do not use for longer than 2 days.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows if you have taken this medicine recently. This medicine may cause problems during surgery or procedures.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools.
  • Bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Pain that lasts longer than 10 days, worsening pain, lasting tiredness or drowsiness, or new symptoms.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Redness or swelling.
  • Severe stomach pain.
  • Ringing in your ears that will not stop, problems with hearing.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Feeling restless, jittery, or irritated.
  • Mild stomach pain, nausea, or heartburn.
  • Slight ringing in your ears.
  • Trouble sleeping.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 12/4/2014


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