medication used to treat pain and decrease the risk of heart disease

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a drug. It is most commonly used as a pain killer, or to reduce fever or inflammation. It also has an anti-platelet effect - it reduces the number of platelets in the blood which reduces blood clotting- in that function it is used to prevent heart attacks. Aspirin is one of the most-used medical drugs in the world.

INN: acetylsalicylic acid
Clinical data
Pronunciationacetylsalicylic acid /əˌstəlˌsælɪˈsɪlɪk/
Trade namesBayer Aspirin, many others
Synonyms2-acetoxybenzoic acid
acetylsalicylic acid
O-acetylsalicylic acid, Aspirin (BAN UK), Aspirin (USAN US)
License data
  • AU: C
Routes of
by mouth, rectal, lysine acetylsalicylate may be given intravenously or intramuscularly
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • AU: S2 (Pharmacy medicine) except when given intravenously (in which case it is schedule 4), used in animal medicine (schedule 5/6) or when the dose is higher than usual.
  • UK: General sales list (GSL, OTC)
  • US: OTC
Pharmacokinetic data
Protein binding80–90%[1]
MetabolismLiver, (CYP2C19 and possibly CYP3A), some is also hydrolysed to salicylate in the gut wall.[1]
Elimination half-lifeDose-dependent; 2 h to 3 h for low doses (100 mg or less), 15 h to 30 h for large doses.[1]
ExcretionUrine (80–100%), sweat, saliva, feces[2]
  • 2-Acetoxybenzoic acid
CAS Number
PubChem CID
PDB ligand
ECHA InfoCard100.000.059 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass180.158 g/mol
3D model (JSmol)
Density1.40 g/cm3
Melting point136 °C (277 °F)
Boiling point140 °C (284 °F) (decomposes)
Solubility in water3 mg/mL (20 °C)
  • O=C(C)Oc1ccccc1C(=O)O
  • InChI=1S/C9H8O4/c1-6(10)13-8-5-3-2-4-7(8)9(11)12/h2-5H,1H3,(H,11,12) checkY

There are some possible side-effects to this drug. For example, large amounts can damage the kidneys. Children taking aspirin can develop Reye's syndrome which causes the liver to become fatty and not work properly and also the brain to become enlarged. Reyes syndrome can be fatal, but most children survive it with treatment.

People with lung, kidney disease, gout, hyperuricemia (high amounts of uric acid in the blood), hemophilia (a blood clotting disorder), diabetes or high blood pressure should not take aspirin except on the advice of a qualified medical professional. Nor should people who are allergic to it, to ibuprofen or to naproxen. People with asthma where attacks are brought about by aspirin should avoid using any anti-inflammatory drugs based on it.

Aspirin was invented in Germany in 1897. Bayer has a trademark on the brand name "aspirin" in 80 countries. But in other countries, "aspirin" is the common name for the drug.

References change

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Brayfield, A, ed. (14 January 2014). "Aspirin". Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference. Pharmaceutical Press. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Zorprin, Bayer Buffered Aspirin (aspirin) dosing, indications, interactions, adverse effects, and more". Medscape Reference. WebMD. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.