Aspirin Overdose ---Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

Copyright 2016, and all prior years,, all rights reserved.
Privacy Policy


Aspirin Overdose--Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

Related Links

Codeine Overdose-Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

Ibuprofen Overdose-Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

Acetaminophen Overdose-Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

Blood Thinning Medications - 10 Foods Not to Mix

Aspirin Can Cause Ringing in Your Ears and Hearing Loss

Green Tea Can Block Aspirin's Effectiveness

Low Platelet Count-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies

Coughing Up Blood-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies

Oxycodone Overdose -Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

Potassium Overdose-Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

How to Cut Down on Taking So Many Medications

Why Do I Keep Throwing Up?-Causes and Cures

Diarrhea and Vomiting At the Same Time-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies
What It Means When Your Heart Skips a Beat
Why Are My Hands Tingling-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies
What Your Handwriting Says About Your Health

April 5, 2012, last updated June 16, 2016

By ALISON TURNER, Contributing Columnist

Aspirin is the champion of the group of medications called "salicylates", so-called because they all derive from salicylic acid.  All salicylates have pain reducing, fever reducing, and anti-inflammatory properties,  which most of us have taken advantage of at some point in our lives.  Along with all of the relief that painkillers such as aspirin can provide, however, comes a dangerous risk of overdose.

A 2007 report by Dr. Gerald O' Malley of the Albert Einstein Medical Centers of Philadelphia found that there were over 21,000 cases of aspirin and non-aspirin salicylate poisonings reported to the United States poison centers in 2004, resulting in 43  deaths and 12,968 patients requiring hospitalization.

Taking too much aspirin can lead to much more harm than help, as an overdose can result in symptoms as tolerable as fatigue and as terrifying as a collapse or coma.  Why is an aspirin overdose so dangerous and what can we do about it? Are there any natural remedies for aspirin overdose? If you take too much aspirin, should you drink water?

Why Do We Take Aspirin At All?

Aspirin is prescribed to relieve symptoms of various forms of arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and other rheumatological conditions (when the immune system attacks joints and organs).  Non-prescription aspirin is commonly used against fever, mild to moderate headaches, menstrual periods, colds, toothaches, and muscle aches. 

Aspirin has been called a miracle drug. It certainly has many medicinal qualities. Aspirin thins your blood.  For this reason, many doctors prescribe a daily routine of taking 81 mg of aspirin to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. (Read more about blood thinning medications.)

Sometimes non-prescription aspirin is also used to reduce the risk of heart attacks, ischemic strokes (occurring when a blood clot blocks the blood flow into the brain), and mini-strokes (occurring when the blood flow to the brain is blocked for a short time).

What Happens During an Aspirin Overdose?

There are two kinds of aspirin overdose: acute and chronic. Each type of aspirin overdose produces different symptoms.  Acute aspirin overdose occurs if someone accidentally or intentionally takes an excessive dose of aspirin at one time. 

Acute aspirin overdose symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and, in more extreme quantities of overdose, ringing in the ears, dizziness, temporary deafness, seizure, or coma.

Chronic aspirin overdose results if a normal daily dose of aspirin builds up in the body over time, either because the kidneys do not function properly or the person is dehydrated (chronic aspirin overdoses are most commonly seen in older patients during hot weather).  

Chronic aspirin overdose  symptoms include fatigue, fever, confusion, collapse, rapid heart beat, and uncontrollable rapid breathing.

How Much Aspirin is Too Much?

Prescription aspirin is usually taken two or more times a day.  Non-prescription aspirin levels depend on the reason for its use: people taking non-prescription aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack usually take one per day, of 81 milligrams -- the size of a baby aspirin. 

But if you are using aspirin to reduce fever or pain, your doctor may prescribe a dosage  to be taken every 4 to 6 hours to reduce fever or pain.  As always, follow the directions on the label of the package, and/or take aspirin only as directed by your physician.  

If, however, for some reason you or someone you know has taken too much aspirin, be sure to seek professional attention immediately

If you take too much aspirin, what can you expect in the emergency room? Here are 10 methods of treatment that you can expect to encounter in the emergency room after an aspirin overdose, or for symptoms occurring farther down the line, all of which are backed up by recent studies conducted by experts from around the globe.

Top 10 Remedies for Aspirin Overdose

1. Hemodialysis: Cleaning the Excess Aspirin out of the Blood.  Hemodialysis means "cleaning the blood," which is an ideal way to remember what the procedure does:  hemodialysis is the withdrawal of blood from the body into a machine, where it is cleaned by an artificial kidney called a dialyzer.   The dialyzer filters wastes, salts and fluid from the blood, usually for people whose kidneys can no longer do the job. Hemodialysis can also be used to remove excess salicylate in severe cases of aspirin overdose.

In 2010 George Bayliss with the Division of Kidney Disease and Hypertension at Brown University,  reported  a 51 year old female patient who "suffered from the acute effect of aspirin overdose."  The patient later admitted to having consumed 200 tablets of aspirin in a suicide attempt, for which the medical intensive care unit monitored her for 8 hours of hemodialysis. 

Her breathing "improved" after hemodialysis, and within six hours her salicylate level was at 30 mg, and after 8 it had reached an "undetectable" level, at which point dialysis was stopped.  The report concludes that dialysis can be a "life-saving therapy in the case of accidental or intentional overdoses" of salicylates (i.e. aspirin).

2. Urine Alkalinization: Another Way to Get Extra Aspirin Out of You.  What could our urine have to do with aspirin overdose?  As it turns out,  urine is a vital tool for doctors to use in measuring the amount of excess aspirin in the body. 

Urine alkalinization increases the elimination of poison, such as excessive salicylate from an asprin overdose, with the intravenous  administration of sodium bicarbonate. 

This is performed until the pH of the urine is over than 7.5 (i.e. more basic than acidic).

An older (1998) though telling study by experts at the Renal Unit, King's College Hospital in London, compared two overdoses of aspirin in the same man.  The first event was treated with hemodialysis (see above) but without alkanization, and the second the other way around, with alkalinization but without hemodialysis.

While both techniques reached the same level of salicylates after 24 hours, alkalinzation produced a faster rate of decline in the first one to four hours.

The information from the 1998 study still holds true today, and is constantly being perfected.  In 2011, Gene Yong-Kwang Ong with the KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, in Singapore,  reported on the treatment of a 4 year old girl with salicylate poison, the toxin found in aspirin. 

The first step of treatment was urine alkalization to "enhance salicylate elimination," using an infusion of a bicarbonate-potassium-dextrose combination that was adapted from a solution more usually used on adults.  This infusion and its administration was "tolerated with good outcome." 

The report concludes that a "simple modified urine alkalinization regimen for moderate salicylate poisoning in a young child in the emergency department" was indeed successful.

It seems that you can teach an ER doc new tricks and he or she will only make them better. [By the way, if you think that you have suffered an aspirin overdose, don't self-treat. Don't down a bowl of sodium bicarb. Go to the ER.]

3. Sustained Low-Efficiency Dialysis (SLED): A Different Method of Dialysis for Aspirin Overdose.

Continue reading     page 1    page 2

Related:                 Blood Thinning Medications-10 Foods Not to Mix
                                      Ibuprofen Overdose-Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

                                      Codeine Overdose -Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

                                      Pulmonary Embolisms-Causes and Cures

                                      Tree Pollen Allergies --Natural Remedies to Protect You

                                      Grass Pollen Allergies --Top 10 Natural Remedies
                                      Why Are My Hands Tingling?-Causes and Remedies
                                      What Your Handwriting Says About Your Health
                                      What Your Fingernails Say About Your Health

                                      The Caveman Diet-Hoax or Healthy?

                                      Restless Leg Syndrome-Causes and Cures

Learn more about these related health conditions: Paracetamol (Tylenol) Overdose-Top 10 Symptoms and Remedies

Date Rape Drugs - Best Tools to Detect Them

What It Means When Your Heart Skips a Beat/ What Your Handwriting Says About Your Health/ Restless Legs Syndrome-Causes and Cures

Increase your health IQ.
Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Zoomhealth -Today's Health News

1.  Coughing Up Blood-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies

2. What Your Handwriting Says About Your Health

3. Hubris Syndrome -New Psychological Disorder Affecting Political Leaders

4. Milk Helps Prevent Diabetes-New Report!

About Us

Contact Us

Partner With Us


Home > Conditions > > You Are Here
How much is too much aspirin?
Privacy Policy