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Aspirin Poisoning (cont.)

Aspirin Poisoning Causes

Aspirin poisoning can be classified as either Intentional or accidental

Intentional: For a variety of reasons, some people intentionally ingest poisons or poison others. Some reasons include the following:


  • Accidental poisonings usually affect children. From 1972-1976, there were 1-2 million cases of accidental poisonings per year in the United States. Since 1976, the number of accidental poisonings has dropped to about 500,000 cases per year. This decrease is attributed to the Poison Prevention Packaging Act and to poison prevention publicity.
  • The most common sources of accidental poisoning were plants, various types of cleaners (soaps, detergents, and household cleaners), vitamins and minerals, and aspirin. Aspirin is no longer the most common cause of accidental poisoning. This is probably because of child-resistant packaging.
  • Inappropriate dosing in children and elderly people: Hundreds of medications available both over-the-counter and by prescription contain aspirin or aspirin-like substances. Unintentional aspirin poisoning can result if these medications are taken in combination, in inappropriate doses, or over a long time period. This is especially likely to occur in older people with chronic health problems.

Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
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