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Also known as: Aspirin; ASA; Acetylsalicylic acid; Bismuth subsalicylate; Methyl salicylate; Sodium salicylate; Salsalate; Magnesium salicylate [Often referred to by brand name (see MedlinePlus Drug Information)]
Formal name: Salicylates, blood, urine

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At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To detect salicylate overdose, to help evaluate its severity and monitor its resolution; sometimes to monitor for an overdose if you regularly use prescription-strength salicylates

When to Get Tested?

When you have symptoms such as nausea, hyperventilation, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or confusion that may be from taking too much aspirin or medications with salicylate ingredients; when it is suspected that an unconscious person or a child may have ingested a significant quantity of a salicylate, often as part of emergency and overdose testing; at regular intervals when monitoring an overdose; sometimes on a regular basis if you take a prescription salicylate for rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorder

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm and/or a urine sample collected in a clean container

Test Preparation Needed?

None, but a healthcare practitioner may ask when you last took a salicylate and the amount taken. If you regularly take a prescription salicylate, the healthcare practitioner may want to collect blood just prior to your next dose (trough level). Tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.