Doan's Pills

Generic Name: magnesium salicylate (mag-NEE-zee-uhm sal-i-SIL-ate)
Brand Name: Examples include Doan's Pills and DeWitt's Pain Reliever

Doan's Pills is used for:

Treating minor backache pain. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Doan's Pills is a salicylate. It works by blocking certain chemicals in the body that cause pain, inflammation, and fever.

Do NOT use Doan's Pills if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Doan's Pills or you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, breathing difficulties, dizziness) to aspirin or an NSAID (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib)
  • you are a child or teenager with influenza (flu) or chickenpox
  • you have bleeding problems such as hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, or low blood platelets
  • you are taking anticoagulants (eg, heparin, warfarin) or methotrexate

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using Doan's Pills:

Some medical conditions may interact with Doan's Pills. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have alcoholism or if you consume 3 or more alcohol-containing drinks every day
  • if you have asthma, bleeding or clotting problems, diabetes, gout, arthritis, growths in the nose (nasal polyps), kidney or liver problems, stomach or peptic ulcers (bleeding ulcers), heartburn, upset stomach, stomach pain, influenza (flu) or chickenpox, or vitamin K deficiency
  • if you have a history of stroke or a weakened blood vessel (cerebral aneurysm) or bleeding in the brain
  • if you have Kawasaki syndrome (a rare inflammation causing heart problems in children)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Doan's Pills. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg, acetazolamide) because they may decrease Doan's Pills's effectiveness
  • Anticoagulants (eg, heparin, warfarin) or NSAIDs (eg, ibuprofen, celecoxib) because the risk of their side effects, including risk of bleeding, may be increased by Doan's Pills
  • Insulin and oral antidiabetics (eg, glyburide, nateglinide) because the risk of their side effects, including abnormally low blood sugar level (eg, hunger, shakiness or weakness, dizziness, headache, sweating), may be increased by Doan's Pills
  • Methotrexate or valproic acid because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Doan's Pills
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril), probenecid, or sulfinpyrazone because their effectiveness may be decreased by Doan's Pills

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Doan's Pills may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Doan's Pills:

Use Doan's Pills as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Doan's Pills by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Take Doan's Pills with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL). Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking Doan's Pills.
  • Use Doan's Pills exactly as directed on the package, unless instructed differently by your doctor. If you are taking Doan's Pills without a prescription, follow any warnings and precautions on the label.
  • If you miss a dose of Doan's Pills and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Doan's Pills.

Important safety information:

  • Talk to your doctor before you take Doan's Pills if you drink more than 3 drinks with alcohol per day.
  • Doan's Pills may cause stomach bleeding. Your risk may be greater if you drink alcohol while you are using Doan's Pills.
  • Doan's Pills may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Doan's Pills has a salicylate in it. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has a salicylate in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Doan's Pills has a salicylate in it, which has been linked to a serious illness called Reye syndrome. Do not give Doan's Pills to a child or teenager who has the flu, chickenpox, or a viral infection. Contact your doctor with any questions or concerns.
  • If Doan's Pills has a strong vinegar-like smell upon opening, do not use. It means the medicine is breaking down. Throw the bottle away safely and out of the reach of children; contact your pharmacist and replace.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Doan's Pills before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Do not take Doan's Pills for at least 7 days after any surgery unless directed by your health care provider.
  • Do not take Doan's Pills for more than 10 days for pain or for more than 3 days for fever unless directed to do so by your health care provider.
  • Different brands of Doan's Pills may have different dosing instructions for CHILDREN. Follow the dosing instructions on the package labeling. If your doctor has given you instructions, follow those. If you are unsure of the dose to give a child, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Doan's Pills during the last 3 months of pregnancy; it may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Doan's Pills while you are pregnant. Doan's Pills is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Doan's Pills, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Doan's Pills:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Heartburn; nausea; upset stomach.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black or bloody stools; confusion; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; hearing loss; ringing in the ears; severe stomach pain; vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; fever; hearing loss; lethargy; lightheadedness, especially upon standing; nausea; rapid breathing; rapid or irregular heartbeat; ringing in the ears; seizures; shortness of breath; stomach pain; vomiting.

Proper storage of Doan's Pills:

Store Doan's Pills at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Doan's Pills out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Doan's Pills, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Doan's Pills is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Doan's Pills or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Doan's Pills. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Doan's Pills. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Doan's Pills.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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