Beechams powders contain two active ingredients, aspirin and caffeine.
Aspirin belongs to a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It works by blocking the action of a substance in the body called cyclo-oxygenase.
Cyclo-oxygenase is involved in the production of various chemicals in the body, some of which are known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are produced in response to injury or certain diseases and cause pain, swelling and inflammation. By blocking the action of cyclo-oxygenase, aspirin reduces the production of prostaglandins and can therefore be used to relieve pain and inflammation.
Caffeine is a weak stimulant that is often included in painkilling preparations in small doses. It is claimed that the addition of caffeine may enhance the pain relieving effects of aspirin.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are already taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines and those bought without a prescription, you should check with your pharmacist before taking this medicine, to ensure that the combination is safe.
People taking anticoagulant medicines used to prevent the blood clotting, eg warfarin, should not take aspirin to relieve pain, inflammation or fever. This is because aspirin can irritate the stomach lining, as well as increasing the effects of warfarin, both of which increase the likelihood of bleeding.
There may be an increased risk of bleeding if aspirin is taken with 'blood-thinning' (antiplatelet) medicines such as clopidogrel or dipyridamole.
There may also be an increased risk of bleeding if aspirin is taken in combination with venlafaxine, duloxetine, or SSRI antidepressants such as fluoxetine or paroxetine.
There may be an increased risk of bleeding or ulceration of the stomach or intestines if aspirin is taken with corticosteroids, eg prednisolone, dexamethasone.
There may be an increased risk of side effects if aspirin is taken with other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), eg ibuprofen, diclofenac, indometacin. For this reason, this medicine should not be taken with any other NSAID.
Aspirin reduces the rate at which the body can remove the medicine methotrexate. The two should not usually be used together.
There may be an increased risk of side effects if aspirin is taken with acetazolamide.