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What are common side effects of taking too much aspirin?

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Common side effects of taking too much aspirin at one time include nausea, upset stomach, stomach pain and vomiting, MedlinePlus says. Larger overdoses can also cause hyperactivity, drowsiness, seizures, ringing in the ears or temporary deafness; extremely large doses can result in coma or death. Taking too much aspirin over time can result in slight fever, rapid heart beat, rapid breathing, fatigue or confusion. If aspirin is taken daily, an overdose can occur over time due to dehydration or poor kidney function.

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Treatment for taking too much aspirin depends on the amount taken, when it was taken and the general condition of the patient when care began, explains MedlinePlus. The treatment needed and its effectiveness depend greatly on the amount of time that passes between the initial overdose and treatment. Tests to check the condition of a patient can include chest X-rays, urine tests, electrocardiograms and blood tests. Treatments can include supplemental oxygen, intravenous fluids, laxatives and activated charcoal.

Doctors may administer potassium salts and sodium bicarbonate intravenously to help the body purge aspirin in the bloodstream, says MedlinePlus. Medications to treat symptoms may also be provided. In the worst cases, hemodialysis may be used to help remove the aspirin from the blood. A breathing machine may also be used as a last resort.

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