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Aspirin, the original wonder drug, has long been a go-to medicine for millions, a Jack-of-all trades remedy that is readily available and cheap. Championed for its ability to relieve pain, fever and inflammation, aspirin has been a staple in home medicine cabinets and first-aid kits for more than a century.

Yet in recent years its reputation has been sullied by recognition of potentially serious side effects, especially dangerous bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract or the brain. Given aspirin’s longevity and over-the-counter status, those risks are sometimes overlooked by consumers who take it with less care than is medically warranted.

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