Serious Bleeding Caused by Aspirin-Containing Antacids

Defective Drugs
Antacids and Gastrointestinal Bleeding

By Sandra Dalton, Staff Writer

Antacids that contain aspirin can cause serious bleeding events. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new safety announcement on June 6, 2016, warning consumers of the dangers of these over-the-counter (OTC) drugs because it is still receiving reports of serious bleeding in people who use these products. If you use effervescent OTC antacids, check the label and make sure you are not getting a dose of aspirin with it. It is the aspiring that causes the bleeding. You can choose products that do not have aspiring to treat your upset stomach or heartburn.

NSAIDs and Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Aspirin is a NSAID. NSAIDs come in both OTC and prescription form. Some examples of NSAIDs include:

  • Ibuprofen, also sold as Advil and Motrin
  • Naproxen
  • Celebrex (Celecoxib)
  • Mobic (meloxicam)

If you already take a NSAID, you are more likely to experience a bleeding event from taking an aspiring antacid.

Aspirin Antacid Products

The dangerous OTC products in question are often labeled as “effervescent”. They come in tablet for, and you dissolve them in water. Examples include:

  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Bromo Seltzer
  • Medique Medi Seltzer
  • Zee-Seltzer Antacid and Pain Reliever
  • Equate Effervescent Antacid & Pain Relief
  • Picot Plus Effervescent
  • Winco Foods Effervescent Antacid and Pain Relief

Again, always check the label to see if aspirin is included in the ingredients before you take an antacid.

Risk Factors

While aspirin-containing antacids could potentially cause bleeding in anyone, there are certain factors that make it more likely. These include:

  • Drinking at least three alcoholic drinks daily
  • Being 60 years old or older
  • Having s history of stomach ulcers
  • Having a history of gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Taking other medicines that contain NSAIDs
  • Taking anticlotting drugs, also called anticoagulants or blood-thinners
  • Taking steroids, such as prednisone

Signs of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Gastrointestinal bleeding can be life-threatening. You may require hospitalization or blood transfusions. If it is serious enough, you can die if you do not get treatment. if you have taken an aspirin antacid and experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark, tarry or black stools
  • Bloody stools
  • Vomiting blood, may look like coffee grounds
  • Feeling faint
  • Paleness

If you or someone you love has experienced serious bleeding after taking an antacid that contains aspirin, you can learn more about your rights and how you can recover damages for your losses by searching our directory to find a lawyer near you.

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