Aspirin: Can regular use become a danger

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Indy Lifestyle Online

My father, 89, buys strong indigestion tablets (Alka-Seltzer XS). He says he only takes them occasionally, but I know he takes them every day. He also takes prescription medicine for a heart condition, including a small daily dose of aspirin. The indigestion tablets also contain aspirin. Should you take such over-the-counter remedies indefinitely?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

Alka-Seltzer XS contains aspirin, paracetamol, caffeine, sodium bicarbonate and citric acid. The dose of paracetamol in two Alka-Seltzer XS tablets is about half an ordinary tablet. The dose of aspirin is about twice as big. In someone of your father's age, there is a real risk that too much aspirin will cause him harm. Aspirin can cause stomach bleeding and ulcers. Some over-the-counter remedies can be taken for long periods (simple antacids, for example), but I do not think it wise for your father to take Alka-Seltzer XS for more than a few days. A pharmacist might suggest something more suitable. Aspirin is not a good treatment for indigestion it often inflames the lining of the stomach.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.