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Aspirin Poisoning (cont.)

Aspirin Poisoning Symptoms

The earliest symptoms of acute aspirin poisoning may include ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and impaired hearing. More clinically significant signs and symptoms include rapid breathing (hyperventilation), vomiting, dehydration, fever, double vision, and feeling faint.

Later signs of aspirin poisoning, or signs of more significant poisoning, include drowsiness or confusion, bizarre behavior, unsteady walking, and coma.

The abnormal breathing caused by aspirin poisoning is usually rapid and deep. Vomiting may occur 3-8 hours after taking too much aspirin. Serious dehydration may occur from hyperventilation, vomiting, and fever.

Aspirin poisoning signs and symptoms can range from minor to severe.

  • Mild to moderate: Deep and rapid breathing (hyperpnea) sometimes with lethargy (abnormal drowsiness)
  • Moderate: Severe deep and rapid breathing, prominent nervous system disturbances, such as marked lethargy or excitability, but no coma or convulsions
  • Severe: Severe deep and rapid breathing, coma, sometimes with convulsions

When to Seek Medical Care

If minor symptoms of aspirin overdose are experienced, call the doctor who prescribed the medication to see if the medication should be stopped or the dosage reduced. Minor symptoms include ringing in the ears, dry mouth, and dizziness.

For all other symptoms, call 911, (the local emergency phone number or Poison Control) immediately. Also consider transporting the affected person directly to a hospital's emergency department for evaluation. Serious symptoms include the following:

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms occur with aspirin overdose:

  • Any hearing loss
  • Any abnormal bleeding
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Dizziness (severe)
  • Drowsiness (severe)
  • Excitement or nervousness (severe)
  • Fast or deep breathing
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
  • Headache (severe or continuing)
  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting (severe or continuing)
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears (continuing)
  • Sweating
  • Unexplained fever
  • Unusual thirst
  • Vision problems
Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
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