Plop, plop, fizz, fizz
January 10, 2010 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Where do I find Icelandic-style dissolving aspirin in the US?

Last year, when I was in Iceland, I needed aspirin and was sold a tube of roughly necco-wafer sized tablets. Each is 500 mg of aspirin and some caffeine, if I'm reading the Icelandic correctly (doubtful). I was told to drop a tablet in a glass of water and drink.

It fizzes, dissolves and tastes like gym sock tea, but this aspirin seems to go right to my head. My headache, that is. Or a fever. Or aches and pains. No waiting 20 min. for relief, this stuff hits my bloodstream in under 5 min. and starts to fix what ails me.

I've tried asking at a pharmacy (blank looks), googling and looking through aspirin listings on until I couldn't take it any more. There is probably a name for this type of aspirin, but I don't know it.

Does anyone know the English name for this stuff, and, for extra karmic brownie points good for a toaster oven in your next life, where to get it?
posted by QIbHom to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: BC Powder is what I've always seen at drug stores all over (the east coast). They aren't tablets, though, just little packets of powder you pour into water.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:43 PM on January 10, 2010

Best answer: Looks like Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief is pretty close.
posted by rhizome at 2:43 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by muddgirl at 2:43 PM on January 10, 2010

I mean "Alka-Seltzer" - it is usually advertised as a hangover or indigestion aid, but the part that relieves upset stomach is also the part that makes it fizz.
posted by muddgirl at 2:45 PM on January 10, 2010

Best answer: Good old headache powders. In the US you can sometimes find them in chain pharmacies or supermarkets on the bottom shelf (or in the 'ethnic' drug subsection), or the non-chain ones that have lots of old people. has at least two: BC powders and the slightly more edgy modern Bayer Quick Crystals, among others.
posted by cobaltnine at 2:48 PM on January 10, 2010

Goody's Headache Powder.
posted by Oriole Adams at 2:49 PM on January 10, 2010

Response by poster: You guys rock! Never heard of headache powder, but it looks like it'd work great. It never occurred to me to check Alka-Seltzer, which, for some bizarre reason, I thought was fizzy Pepto Bismol.

I got strict on the best answers, although you all qualify. Cat Pie Hurts for being the first to suggest headache powder and saying they are east coast (as I am). rhizome for matching dosages on aspirin and caffeine. cobaltnine for where they can be found.

Thank all of you. I've found that if I use this kind of aspirin the minute my head starts hurting, it will kill even most migraines. They are a thing of beauty.
posted by QIbHom at 3:33 PM on January 10, 2010

Too late and the wrong continent, but FWIW the UK English name for this would be "soluble aspirin".

(My family liked 'em; I always hated hated HATED the taste.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:38 PM on January 10, 2010

Response by poster: I've hopes of travelling in the UK someday, We had a deal, Kyle, so it is good to know what it is called there.

Looking through the ingredients, it looks like BC Powder is what I need. The others contain tylenol, aspartame and/or sucralose, none of which I should have. I have a quest for my lunch half hour tomorrow, now.
posted by QIbHom at 3:56 PM on January 10, 2010

Bromo Seltzer is a competing product. Alka Seltzer contains aspirin. Bromo Seltzer is acetaminophen.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:40 PM on January 10, 2010

For a while, my wife was able to buy aspirin that dissolved on your tongue. We live in NY. She says she cannot get it anymore and forgets the brand. So, while that may not sound real helpful, it is out there or was as a trial. I think it was Excedrin migraine which is aspirin and caffeine.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:47 PM on January 10, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you, Chocolate Pickle, but I can't have acetaminophen (tylenol). Still, good to have in here for completeness.
posted by QIbHom at 4:55 PM on January 10, 2010

Re: it helping with migraine. Making sure to get a similar product here that also contains the caffeine may make the difference between it helping with migraine and not.
posted by thebrokedown at 5:58 PM on January 10, 2010

Yeah, what odinsdream said. You wanna open the packet, fold it with the powder in the hollow, and tamp it down (while holding your breath) just as odinsdream recommends, immediately following with something to drink (water is fine, but soda or juice will help kill the nasty taste.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:23 PM on January 10, 2010

Children's chewable aspirin may also be something to try. This isn't an instant-dissolve or in powder form, but they melt really quickly in your mouth and don't taste as bad as some of the powders. I found they worked faster than regular aspirin, but I didn't compare them extensively with powder, as I found powder to be more inconvenient and foul-tasting.

You do have to take more of them to get the equivalent dose (6-8), but they're really tiny, so that's not a huge problem. I use the Target generic orange flavor - $1 for 36 pills which is ~6 doses.
posted by clerestory at 8:26 PM on January 10, 2010

Response by poster: Right, with caffeine, thebrokedown. Thanks for the reminder.

I'm using children's aspirin now, clerestory. I hate the taste, and they are expensive, even in generic. I actually prefer vile gym sock tea to saccharine.

Good to have a technique, too, although I'm hoping I'll have water to mix it with.

This is great, gang. I feel much better about being nearly out of my Trio tablets.
posted by QIbHom at 2:34 AM on January 11, 2010

Excedrin quicktabs have caffiene and taste minty. Practically instant hangover cure. It's acetaminophen not aspirin though.
posted by Kimberly at 8:28 AM on January 11, 2010

If you go to India (or know someone who does), their brand name in India is Disprin. Get someone to bring you back a box (containing 10 strips of 10 tabs each) - it may cost you $1 or so...
posted by Arthur Dent at 10:12 AM on January 12, 2010

Response by poster: Gang, I used some BC powder, and it properly nuked my headache from orbit. Doesn't taste nearly as bad as the Icelandic stuff, either.

I really appreciate it, folks.
posted by QIbHom at 5:04 PM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

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