Archive for category Reye’s Syndrome
OK, it’s only a photo. These pills are yellow and aspirin is usually white. However, it is as well to remember as you travel around the world that some medications that don’t look like aspirin contain it as a component and unless you read the label carefully this could pass you by.
Why be concerned about aspirin? Introduced as an analgesic (painkiller), an antipyretic (ability to bring down fever), and an anti-inflammatory agent in 1897, it is one of the oldest drugs. It must have been a godsend for those suffering from toothache and other common aches and pains over a century ago. Aspirins’s chemical name is acetylsalicylic acid and it breaks down in the body to form salicylic acid.
It is an important drug in other ways and its benefits are today, over a century later, still being investigated.
However it also has side effects, the best known is that it can precipitate stomach bleeding.
There is also another rare but important side effect mainly affecting children. This has resulted in a change of advice to parents on how to treat a child with fever. In granny’s day it was normally advised to give a child half an aspirin to bring down temperature, however this is contrary to modern advice because of the possible risk of precipitating Reye’s Syndrome. Although this condition is rare, its seriousness is such that the risk of taking aspirin well outweighs any benefit in a child with pyrexia.
COUNTRY : UK
What is Reye’s Syndrome
Reye’s syndrome is an acute disorder which affects children when they seem to be recovering from a viral illness like ‘flu’, chickenpox or diarrhoea. The child has a change in his/her personality or becomes drowsy and develops frequent or persistent vomiting. Unless diagnosed and treated successfully, death or severe disability may result.
Abnormal accumulations of fat develop in the liver and some other organs of the body. There is swelling of the brain which can cause it injury. The disease affects children from infancy onwards, including teenagers and has been reported, albeit rarely, in adults. Children of both sexes and all races can be affected.
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