An overdose of aspirin means you have too much aspirin in your body.
This can happen in two ways:
If a person accidentally or intentionally takes a very large dose of aspirin at one time, it's called an acute overdose.
If a normal daily dose of aspirin builds up in the body over time and causes symptoms, it's called a chronic overdose. This may happen if your kidneys do not work correctly or when you are dehydrated. Chronic overdoses are usually seen in older patients during hot weather.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Symptoms of acute overdose may include:
- Upset stomach and stomach pain
- Vomiting -- may cause an ulcer or irritation of the stomach known as gastritis
Symptoms of chronic overdose may include:
- Slight fever
- Rapid heart beat
- Uncontrollable rapid breathing
Large overdoses may also cause:
- Ringing in the ears
- Tempoary deafness
Taking more than 150mg/kg of aspirin can have serious and even deadly results if untreated. For a small adult, that's roughly equal to taking 20 tablets containing 325mg aspirin. Much lower levels can affect children.
If treatment is delayed or the overdose is large enough, symptoms will continue to get worse. Breathing becomes extremely fast or may stop. Seizures, high fevers, or death may occur.
How well you do depends greatly on how much aspirin your body has absorbed -- and how much is flowing through your blood. If you take a large amount of aspirin but come quickly to the emergency room, treatments may help keep your blood levels of aspirin very low. If you do not get to the emergency room fast enough, the level of aspirin in your blood can become dangerously high.