Notes on “Aspirin.”

Salicylate Notes:

  • The drug category name salicylate was derived from acetylsalicylic acid, the first drug in that category.
  • Aspirin is the most famous member of the Salicylate family, and was first introduced in 1899, although for ages prior to that year, aspirin was used for pain relief in its natural form from willow bark.
  • The drug aspirin is also known by its chemical name acetylsalicylic acid and abbreviation “ASA.” Acetylsalicylic acid is derived from salix, a Latin word that means willow.
  • Salicylate is a general category that includes aspirin and other chemically related drugs
    • Aspirin (Bayer Aspirin, Ecotrin, Empirin)
    • Diflunisal (Dolobid)
    • Magnesium salicylate (Doan’s)
    • Salsalate (Salsitab)
  • This class of medication has three different therapeutic actions
    • Analgesic
      • Provides relief from mild-moderate pain by inhibiting the release of prostaglandins from damaged tissue. Prostaglandins are chemicals that cause pain)
    • Anti-inflammatory
      • Decreases inflammation, also by inhibiting the release of prostaglandins from damaged tissue
    • Antipyretic
      • Reduces fever by:
        • Acting on the hypothalamus -a gland located in the brain- to cause dilation of blood vessels and sweating. These effects cause increasing heat loss from the skin and lowers an elevated body temperature
      • Aspirin has a fourth therapeutic action that is unique and not shared by any of the other salicylate drugs
        • Anticoagulant
          • Prolongs the clotting time of the blood by inhibiting thromboxane, a substance in the blood that normally causes platelets to aggregate and form a clot
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