Aspirin: Let’s Get Reacquainted
My older sister, age 36, is pregnant with her second child. Her first child is 16 years old. When she announced her pregnancy this summer, she touted how easy her first pregnancy was and that she was expecting a smooth second time around. Now that she is in her third trimester and ready to “pop,” every joint in her body aches and she often complains of hip and back pain.
She asked me a few days ago if she should take an aspirin for her pain. She couldn’t remember which drugs were safe for pregnancy and which were not.
Safe During Pregnancy?
Aspirin is such a recognizable medication. You can find many aspirin brands over-the-counter at your local pharmacies, grocery and convenience stores. You’ve probably heard people talk about taking an aspirin for pain but do most of us understand what aspirin does?
I told my pregnant sister to NOT take aspirin during her pregnancy unless her provider told her otherwise. Here’s why: aspirin is an antiplatelet drug, which means it prevents the blood cells (platelets) from clumping together to form a clot. During pregnancy and labor, aspirin usage could cause problems for mom and baby when blood clotting is needed.
But aspirin shouldn’t be dismissed across the board. There are many cases in which people want to prevent blood clotting in addition to the other benefits aspirin has to offer — pain relief, fever and inflammation reduction.
Review with Doctor
Some common conditions in which a person would take aspirin could include pain management (joint swelling and pain, muscles aches, and back pain are common), headaches, cold and flu, heart attack prevention, and stroke prevention.
Even though aspirin is widely used, it’s still a good idea to discuss aspirin usage with your provider or pharmacist. It is easy to become confused between all of the over-the-counter medication options. Each person’s body is unique, so it is crucial to discuss how medication will impact your specific health circumstances.