wikiHow to Live With an Allergy to Aspirin

Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is commonly used to recover from headaches and fevers. However, for people who are allergic to aspirin the medication can make their health much worse instead of making them feel better. Risks vary depending to your body's sensitivity to the drug and the severity of the aspirin allergy symptoms. To live with an allergy to aspirin, one not only has to avoid the medication but also other items that contain salicylates.


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    Do not confuse aspirin side effects as allergic reactions. The following side effects may occur when taking aspirin but do not indicate an allergy:
    • Abdominal disturbances and ulcers or bowel bleeding
    • Bruises
    • Tinnitis (a long-lasting high-pitched ringing in your ears)
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    Find out if you have any of the following medical conditions that can increase your chances of having an aspirin allergy:
    • Asthma: inflammation in your breathing airways causing coughing, shortness of breath or tightness in your chest
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    • Urticaria: raised spots on your skin
    • Sinusitis: inflammation in your nasal passage due to infection from virus, bacteria or fungus
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    Look for the following symptoms that indicate aspirin allergy:
    • Red bumps (hives) on your skin
    • Itchiness and rashes, especially near your mouth
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    • Nasal congestion or a watery nose
    • Eyes watering or becoming itchy
    • Symptoms similar to an asthma attack such as wheezing or breathing difficulties
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    • Swollen lips or tongue
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    Consult a doctor if you experience dangerous symptoms such as rhinitis (inflammation in your nose) or anaphylaxis. Both of these symptoms can be fatal due to blockage of breathing passages.
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    Don't take the following medications if you are allergic to aspirin:
    • Alka-Seltzer
    • Aspirin in any form or under any brand name
    • Dristan
    • Ecotrin
    • Ibuprofen such as Motrin and Advil
    • Kaopectate
    • Naproxen such as Aleve, Anaprox and Naprosyn
    • Pepto-Bismol
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    Inspect the ingredients of all food and drinks. Avoid consuming anything that contains sodium benzoate or azo dyes. These coloring agents and preservatives contain salicylates that are the main cause of aspirin allergy.
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    Eat protein like chicken, fish, eggs as well as fresh vegetables. Natural foods have lower salicylates levels.
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    Avoid items that contain mint or mint flavoring because they can contain a high amount of salicylates. For example, avoid minty chewing gums, breath fresheners and toothpastes.
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    Be careful when eating fruits. Fruits such as oranges, apricots, pineapples and plums contain a high amount of salicylates.
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    Refrain from eating dried fruits and canned fruits. This includes fruit-based jams, breakfast cereals and jellies.
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    Increase the intake of vitamin C with bioflavonoids in your diet. This will help your body fight against allergens and prevent aspirin allergy symptoms from emerging.
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    Use the following home remedies to avoid or control allergic reactions:
    • Apply a mixture of cinnamon powder and honey on infected areas of your skin.
    • Wash your hands with apple cider vinegar mixed with water and wash your skin regularly.
    • Apply a cold wet cloth or towel on areas where you experience itchiness.
    • Use soft soaps instead of strong soaps to avoid blistering and damaging of skin.
    • Wear cotton instead of wool and clothes made of synthetic fabrics.
    • Don't scratch areas of damaged skin because this can cause infections to grow.
    • Mix sugar with sunflower or vegetable oil to sooth itchy hands.


  • People who live with an allergy to aspirin can ask their doctor to suggest other types of medication for fevers and headaches that do not contain salicylates.


  • Avoid giving aspirin to children because it could cause liver problems (Reye's syndrome).

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Categories: Allergies and Immunization