Who should not take low-dose aspirin?

You should not take low-dose aspirin (e.g. Astrix, Cartia) if you have a known allergy to the active ingredient, or you have a condition that makes your risk of bleeding high, or you are actively bleeding. Such conditions might include a bleeding disorder (that interferes with your blood’s ability to clot), or a stomach ulcer. Make sure you speak to a health professional before you take aspirin. They will be able to take your health history and decide whether aspirin is a suitable choice for you.

Aspirin should not be given to anyone with:

a known allergy to aspirin — symptoms may include:

  • shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
  • a rash, itching or hives on the skin.

severe active bleeding or a condition that increases the risk of bleeding, including:

  • severe liver disease
  • bleeding disorders such as haemophilia
  • gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining)
  • current stomach or intestinal ulcers.

Also, before you start taking aspirin, tell your doctor if you:

  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • take any other medicines
  • have asthma or other breathing problems
  • have hayfever, sinusitis or other nasal conditions (e.g. polyps)
  • have severe kidney disease
  • are allergic to a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen, or to any other substance (e.g. certain foods)
  • have had a stomach or intestinal ulcer in the past.

You may still be able to take aspirin if any of these apply to you, but first your doctor will need to confirm this is safe. They may also need to make some changes to your aspirin dose, or to some of your other medicines.