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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

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 your child may have ingested a significant quantity of a salicylate; at regular intervals when monitoring an overdose; sometimes on a regular basis when you take a prescription salicylate for rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorder

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed?

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