Aspirin was the first drug to come into common usage and it is still widely used in the world. It is a pain-reliever that reduces fewer and is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation. It is an ingredient in large pain-relieving and cold/flu preparations. Nowadays doctors often prescribe it as a valuable medicine to prevent heart attacks and it is under examination for other medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes. Aspirin was originated from a willow tree (herbal tree) in the olden days. In Greece Hippocrates leaves from the willow tree was used to make a tea that relieves the pain of childbirth for women. In 1763 Reverend Edward Stone of Oxford gave dried bark of the willow tree to 50 parishioners suffering rheumatic fever.
In Italy (1823) the main ingredient was extracted from the willow tree and named salicin. Salicin was also found in the meadowsweet flowers by Swiss and German researchers. In Germany (1897), Bayer’s Felix Hoffmann got approval for a trademark and develops a process for synthesizing acetylsalicylic acid or Aspirin and the clinical trial begins. In 1899 clinical trial are successfully completed and for the first time, Aspirin was launched.
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As the active ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid works by going through several different chemical processes within the body, including the natural physiological processes causing pain and inflammation. Aspirin is known as ‘acetylsalicylic acid’ and has a chemical formula of C9H8O4. It inhibits enzyme converting acid to prostaglandin. Aspirin is pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, a drug that reduces fever and is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation.
Preparation of aspirin
Aspirin is prepared by the synthesis of acetylic acid. Nowadays doctors use aspirin in small daily doses to prevent diseases such as heart attack, stroke and the blindness and kidney damage suffered by many patients with diabetes. If Aspirin is dissolved in water the solution will be acidic (just like vinegar and lemon juice are acidic). Aspirin is a weak acid, so basically, unless a lot of aspirin is dissolved in water it will not be nearly as strong as an acid.
The formula of aspirin C9H8O4 tells you how many atoms are in each molecule of salicylic acid. So there are 9C (carbon) atoms, 8H (hydrogen) atoms and 4O (oxygen) atoms. These atoms are ordered (arranged) in a very cool manner. Six of the carbon atoms link together to form a ring and the other atoms hang on the sides. The shape and the electrical charges of the molecule give it the ability to stop fever and pain in the body.
Synthesis of Aspirin
The synthesis of aspirin is classified as an esterification reaction. This is a substitution reaction is a reaction where alcohol (the OH- group from salicylic acid) reacts with an acid to form an ester acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). There are six different types of Aspirin. They are the generic brand, children’s aspirin, regular strength and buffered aspirin.
The pH of the Buffered aspirin was a lot higher than the others. Keeping the acetylsalicylic acid in ionic form or preventing it from dissolving until it reaches the small intestine would prevent it from causing bleeding. Some manufactures had tried to add buffering agents to their tablet for this purpose. But the benefits of the buffered aspirin are questioned. Any buffering agent used in antacid could be used in buffered aspirin. It is really a mixture for all the aspirin uses such as for the MgO. Buffered aspirin is also made with CaCO3.
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