Nowadays, we may notice that some of our drug labels mentioned the medication to be enteric coated. Even the aspirin we often use for flu has an enteric-coated version. I bet that you have seen enteric-coated aspirin ones but are still question what does it mean or how does it differ from the common aspirin. To know more about this, I think it is best to start to know what does enteric coated mean and what is an enteric coated aspirin.
A Quick Look At the Functions of Enteric Coated Medications
An enteric coated aspirin or other medication was developed to help limit the side effects or the drug as well as make it friendly or helpful to those who have a sensitive stomach. An enteric coated aspirin won’t be dissolved in the stomach and will easily get to the small intestine. This coating is added to alleviate possible stomach discomfort in some patients. However, patients are warned that an enteric coating does not mean that this aspirin version is safer to intake as it can still cause stomach ulcers and bleeding. With this regards, it is still important that patients stick to the recommended dosage.
Concerns Raised Related to Enteric Coated Aspirin
There are some problems or side effects that were raised with the intake of enteric coated aspirin. These are essential to know as aspirin is one of the strong medications that could cause kidney troubles in the future.
For those who are interested in trying enteric coated aspirins, one of the things to expect is that its pain relief can be delayed by hours. This is for the reason that the enteric coating slows down our body’s absorption of the medication. You can also see this disclaimer on the label of enteric coated aspirins specifically mentioning that delayed relief for headaches is to be expected.
Another concern that was raised by patients and some medical professionals is that the use of the enteric coating in aspirin lowers its ability to lessen a patient’s strokes and heart attacks risk. Clinical research featured in the 2013 issue of Circulation found that having low-dose aspirin limits the ability of patients to prevent blood clotting. Another study in Stroke has supported this claim with its result of showing that blood clotting inhibition is less effective in patients who had taken an enteric coated aspirin.
However, there is an opposing result that was published by other researchers. So you can still get your hopes up. Several studies claimed that as compared to the uncoated aspirins, the enteric coated ones are as effective in terms of thinning the blood. To address the contradicting research findings, medical professionals still stay on the safe side and restrict their prescription of aspirin per se as the side effects are not yet cleared as to whether are related to its coating or to the medication itself.
Other Side Effects of Enteric Coated Aspirin
Although an enteric coated version was launched to address stomach discomfort when taking aspirin, aspirin EC still has side effects that every patient should know.
Among the side effects are the serious ones such as easy bleeding or bruising, ringing in the ears, kidney problems signs and hearing difficulty. Persistence in vomiting, nausea, and dizziness are also expected. Other side effects that are common to those who are using enteric coated aspirin are yellowing skin and eyes, dark urine and in some cases heartburn. If these adverse effects continue, then it is essential to call your pharmacist immediately.
Precautions When Intaking Enteric Coated Aspirin
In order to prevent patients in serious or alarming health conditions, there are some precautions that everyone should know when intaking aspirin. According to experts, patients who have blood clotting and bleeding issues should not take the medication as it could worsen their health condition. Those who have allergies to naproxen, ibuprofen, and salicylates are also encouraged to seek medical advice or recommendation first before intaking the product.
Consultation with a doctor should also be done by patients with stomach problems, liver disease, kidney illnesses, and diabetes before taking the drug. Smoking and alcoholic drinks are also not to be taken along with the medication as it could cause them to stomach bleeding.
As for patients age 18 years and below, they are not allowed to take this drug even if its an enteric coated one if they have flu, chickenpox, Reye’s syndrome as well as after they have recently immunized.
Drug Interactions to Avoid With Enteric Coated Aspirin
Just like any other drugs, there are certain medications that patients are not to take when they are prescribed with enteric coated aspirin. Combining these drugs may put their health at risk for serious conditions. Among the drugs that have interactions with these medications are warfarin, prednisone, ginkgo biloba, acetazolamide, mifepristone as well as heparin.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen are also not to be taken with enteric coated aspirin and the uncoated one as it could cause stroke, heart attack and high fever in patients. Above all, health experts advise that the drug is not to be taken if a patient is set or scheduled to do some urine sugar tests as it could result to invalid test results.
Dosing Guidelines for Enteric Coated Aspirin
Medical professionals discourage patients from taking enteric coated aspirin at high doses as improper dosing could lead to kidney or liver malfunctioning. If for instance, a dose has been missed by a doctor, then the best move is to take the medication as soon as possible. Then follow the succeeding dose at the recommended time. It is a big no to double the dosage.
My Personal Take on Enteric Coated Aspirin
Enteric coated aspirin is recommended especially those who are having stomach discomfort when taking the drug. However, regardless of an enteric coated or uncoated one, I think the best aspect to understand here is the safety of intaking aspirin as it is a strong drug and could surely cause troubles in our liver and kidney. The safest way is to strictly follow the prescription and dosage when given to you and be sure to seek immediate help in case serious side effects are experienced. This will put you on the safe side when taking aspirin.