Aspirin, papaveretum (Aspav)

How does it work?

This medicine contains two active ingredients, aspirin and papaveretum.Aspirin belongs to a class of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It works by blocking the production of a chemical (prostaglandin) which the body produces in response to injury or certain diseases. This prostaglandin would otherwise cause swelling, pain and inflammation. Papaveretum belongs to a group of medicines called opioids. Opioids mimic the effects of naturally occurring pain reducing chemicals (endorphins) that are found in the brain and spinal cord. They combine with the opioid receptors in the brain and block the transmission of pain signals. Therefore, even though the cause of the pain may remain, less pain is actually felt.

What is it used for?

  • Moderate to severe pain following surgery
  • Pain associated with cancer


  • This medication should be discontinued several days prior to surgery.

Use with caution in

  • Abnormal muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis)
  • Allergic diseases
  • Anaemia
  • Asthma
  • Dehydration
  • Enlarged prostate gland (prostatic hypertrophy)
  • Epilepsy
  • Gall bladder disease or gall stones
  • Gout
  • Head injury
  • Heart failure
  • History of alcoholism or drug abuse
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Increased pressure in the brain (raised intracranial pressure)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Lack of production of natural steroid hormones from the adrenal gland (adrenocortical insufficiency)
  • Lack of the enzyme G6PD in the blood (G6PD deficiency)
  • Liver disease
  • Long-term inflammation of skin and some internal organs (systemic lupus erythematosus)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Recent gut surgery
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Tumour of the adrenal gland (phaeochromocytoma)

Not to be used in

  • Allergy to aspirin or other medicines in this class (NSAIDs)
  • Allergy to opioid painkillers
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Children under 12 years of age, unless prescribed by a doctor
  • Diarrhoea due to poisoning or certain antibiotics (pseudomembranous colitis)
  • Disease affecting the airways or lungs (respiratory disease)
  • Growths into the nose (nasal polyps) associated with asthma
  • History of stomach or duodenal ulcers or indigestion
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Severe liver disease
  • Slow, shallow breathing (respiratory depression)
  • Sudden asthma attack

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or 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.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

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.

  • This medicine should be used with caution during pregnancy, and only if the expected benefit to the mother is greater than any possible risk to the foetus. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
  • This medicine passes into breast milk. It is recommended that mothers should avoid using this medicine while breastfeeding. Seek medical advice from your doctor.

Label warnings

  • Dissolve or mix this medication with water before taking.
  • Take this medication with or after food.
  • This medication contains aspirin.
  • This medication may cause drowsiness. If affected do not drive or operate machinery. Avoid alcoholic drink.

Side effects

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. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Rash
  • Constipation
  • Slow, shallow breathing (respiratory depression)
  • Blood disorders
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Ulceration of the stomach or intestine
  • Bleeding from the stomach
  • Severe swelling of lips, face or tongue (angioedema)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensation of ringing, or other noise in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Breathing difficulties due to a narrowing of the airways (bronchospasm)
  • Drowsiness

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug'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.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

Aspirin increases the effect of blood-thinning or anti-clotting medicines such as warfarin. Therefore, unless treatment is prescibed by a doctor with careful adjustment of the anticoagulant dose, the two should not be taken together.Aspirin reduces the rate at which the body can remove the medicine methotrexate. The two should not usually be used together. NSAIDs such as aspirin should not be used within 8-12 days of taking mifepristone.Except when used at a low dosage for anti-clotting purposes, aspirin should not be taken with any other NSAID as there may be an increased risk of side effects.When aspirin is taken together with corticosteroids there may be an increase in the blood level of aspirin and an increased risk of side effects such as stomach ulceration and bleeding from the gut.Antacids or other medicines which make the urine more alkaline may increase the removal of aspirin from the body. This is relevant for people taking regular high doses of aspirin, but is unimportant for occasional pain relieving doses.When aspirin is taken together with carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide, its removal from the body may be reduced. This is relevant for people taking regular high doses of aspirin, but is unimportant for occasional pain relieving doses.The effect of uricosuric medicines for gout, such as probenecid, may be reduced by regular high doses of aspirin. This is unimportant for occasional pain relieving doses.This medicine should only be used in conjunction with monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants with extreme caution.When papaveretum is taken together with alcohol or medicines that cause drowsiness, for example, sleeping tablets, antidepressants and antihistamines, drowsiness is likely to be increased.