Aspirin History and Uses

Topics: Aspirin, Salicylic acid, Myocardial infarction Pages: 4 (1508 words) Published: February 14, 2006
What is Aspirin?
Aspirin is on of the first drugs to ever be commonly used and is still one of the most widely used in the world. How widely used you ask? Approximately 35000 metric tonnes are produced and consumed every year. Chemically aspirin is known as acetylsalicylic acid with the chemical formula of C9H8O4. Aspirin is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation.

The history of Aspirin
Aspirin has been a major part of just about everyone's lives. From the college kid who had too much fun the night before to the overstressed mother, aspirin is the first thing people turn to for headache and minor pain relief. It's surprising to find out how little we know about such a commonly used product. The following is research about Aspirin and its place in general Chemistry. The active ingredient in aspirin is called acetyl salicylic acid, which is a synthetic derivative of salicin, a natural compound found mainly in plants such as the willow tree. Looking back in history you can see that since approximately year 400bc aspirin, or its natural form salicin, has been depended on for pain relief. According to research and history the willow leaf was used as herbal medicine by the ancient Greeks during childbirth to ease labor pains. There is also documentation of the first proper scientific study of the herbal remedy in year 1763. Dried willow bark was used by Reverend Edward Stone of Chipping Norton near Oxford on 50 parishioners suffering from rheumatic fever. He then recorded the benefits it had. It wasn't until year 1823 that salicin was extracted from willow and formally named. Not much later, apparently in medical terms, salicylic acid was created for the fist time by French chemists in year 1853. The product had very limited usage though. Apparently it caused great irritation to the lining of the mouth and stomachs of the users. Now the goal was to create a formula that could be widely used....
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