Medications

Aspirin may no longer be effective as cardiovascular treatment

A new paper in Family Practice, published by Oxford University Press, found that the widespread use of statins and cancer screening technology may have altered the benefits of aspirin use. Researchers concluded that aspirin ...

Medications

Aspirin use may reduce cancer, all-cause mortality in seniors

Aspirin use three or more times per week is associated with reductions in all-cause, any cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality among older adults, according to a study published online Dec. ...

Medications

Got a migraine? Relief may already be on your medicine shelf

According to a new report in The American Journal of Medicine, aspirin can be considered an effective and safe option to other, more expensive medications to treat acute migraines as well as prevent recurrent attacks. A review ...

Aspirin

Aspirin (USAN), also known as acetylsalicylic acid (pronounced /əˌsɛtɪlsælɪˌsɪlɪk ˈæsɪd/, abbreviated ASA), is a salicylate drug, often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory medication.

Aspirin also has an antiplatelet effect by inhibiting thromboxane prostaglandins, which under normal circumstances bind platelet molecules together to repair damaged blood vessels. This is why aspirin is used in long-term, low doses to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clot formation in people at high risk for developing blood clots. It has also been established that low doses of aspirin may be given immediately after a heart attack to reduce the risk of another heart attack or of the death of cardiac tissue.

The main undesirable side effects of aspirin are gastrointestinal ulcers, stomach bleeding, and tinnitus, especially in higher doses. In children and adolescents, aspirin is no longer used to control flu-like symptoms or the symptoms of chickenpox or other viral illnesses, due to the risk of Reye's syndrome.

Aspirin was the first discovered member of the class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), not all of which are salicylates, although they all have similar effects and most have inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase as their mechanism of action. Today, aspirin is one of the most widely used medications in the world, with an estimated 40,000 metric tons of it being consumed each year. In countries where Aspirin is a registered trademark owned by Bayer, the generic term is acetylsalicylic acid (ASA).

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