Aspirin is a trade name for acetylsalicylic acid, a common pain reliever. Ingestion of aspirin and similar drugs (salicylates) can lead to rapid poisoning due to an overdose. Aspirin overdose can be acute or chronic.
In acute poisoning, a single large dose is taken, whereas in chronic poisoning, doses beyond the therapeutic range are taken over a certain period of time.
As the dose required to produce rapid poisoning is quite large, an aspirin overdose is seldom accidental. Aspirin poisoning may also follow the topical application of salicylic acid or ingestion of methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen).1
Severe aspirin poisoning has serious consequences, sometimes leading to significant morbidity and mortality.1
The first symptoms of rapid aspirin poisoning are
Serious dehydration may occur from fever, hyperventilation and vomiting.
Delayed signs of severe poisoning include
The symptoms of gradual aspirin poisoning develop over days or weeks.
The following are the steps for emergency management in cases of aspirin poisoning:
1.Reingardiene D, Lazauskas R. Acute salicylate poisoning. Medicina (Kaunas). 2006; 42(1): 79–83.
2.Chyka PA, Erdman AR, Christianson G, Wax PM, Booze LL, Manoguerra AS, et al. Americal Association of Poison Control Centers; Healthcare Systems Bureau, Health Resources and Sevices Administration, Department of Health and Human Services. Salicylate poisoning: an evidence-based consensus guideline for out-of-hospital management. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2007; 45(2): 95–131.
Written by: healthplus24 team
Date last updated: April 12th, 2016
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