Dispersible aspirin - can you swallow them?

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Jibergrt | 00:24 Mon 25th May 2009 | Science
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My husband has to take a low dose aspirin which he is only given in the dissolvable type. He keeps forgetting to take it because he disolves it then forgets. What would happen if he was to just take it as a normal tablet, is there something specific about dispersible ones?


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i take one every morning , i just swallow it as a normal tablet

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tony i have one 75mg tablet every morning (have done for the past 5 years ) with a cup of tea
when i first got the tablets i ask the chemist if it was ok to just swallow them and he said yes

i will be getting some more in a weeks time mayby sooner at asda i will ask the chemist there

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I swallow one every morning with either water/ tea/coffee, no probs with stomach etc.
tonyted is incorrect. It's inappropriate to discuss the mechanism of aspirin absorption and intolerance here, but if tonyted's assertions were correct, the OTC sales of aspirin in the form of anything other than soluble (dispersible) forms would have long been banned by NICE et al in the UK. This would at a stroke, prevent the sales of such brand names as Anadin, Anadin Extra and Phensic in the UK, just to name three.

As long as he has no history of gastric irritation from taking aspirin, he will come to no harm.

As Drfilth says, it is not strictly necessary to disperse dispersible tablets in water to consume them.

I should have added that if your husband wishes to swallow them in the same manner as a normal tablet, let him go ahead.
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My apologies tonyted - I should have explained in slightly more detail. Let's see if I can put it right.

There are patients who have a sensitivity to aspirin and other NSAID drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen . With the exception of aspirin, NSAID's are usually swallowed whole as tablets, although there are some dispersible preparations available.

Virtually NSAIDs are weak acids. When a NSAID tablet is swallowed whole, the tablet will eventualy come to rest against the stomach mucosa. As it is acidic, it can cause localised corrosion of the mucosa. The irritation caused is usually put down to indigestion or similar in the first instance. However in sensitive individuals, areas of the gastric mucosa can be permanently damaged causing gastric ulcers,scarring and bleeding following repeated ingestion of such NSAID's. Remember also that aspirin behaves like warfarin and prevents stomach bleeding from clotting easily causing further damage via prolonged bleeding.

DIspersible aspirin tablets ( we used to call them wrongly soluble aspirin years ago) do not have this drawback as the aspirin particles are finely dispersed in water (the carrier) and are insufficiently concentrated to cause localised damage to the mucosa. The particles just swish around with the rest of the contents of the stomach.

In your case tonyted, you have a valid reason to disperse the tablets in water before consumption to minimise the risk of additional mucosal corrosion and bleeding. Other patients who have never had such symptoms can swallow aspirin tablets whole with no ill effect.

Hospitals and GP's prescribe dispersible aspirin simply to play safe and reduce the risk to as close to nil as possible.
What I should have made clear is that non-dispersible versions of aspirin and other NSAID's do not necessarily cause the formation of gastric ulcers.

In most patients, gastic ulcers will only form after prolonged use of aspirin over many years. Before that happens, the patient will complain of indigestion, heartburn and similar symptoms.
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Thanks very much for all your replies, most helpful.

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