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An Introduction To Acetylsalicylic Acid

Views: 286     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-08-11      Origin: Site


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An Introduction To Acetylsalicylic Acid

Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), generally known as aspirin, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) used to treat inflammation, fever, and/or discomfort, as well as a blood thinner. Aspirin is used to treat a variety of inflammatory disorders, including Kawasaki illness, pericarditis, and rheumatic fever.

Long-term use of aspirin is also used to help those at high risk avoid further heart attacks, ischemic strokes, and blood clots. Effects often start within 30 minutes of pain or fever. While aspirin functions similarly to other NSAIDs, it also inhibits platelets' natural activity.

Physical properties

Salicylic acid's acetyl derivative, aspirin, is a white, crystalline compound with a modest acidity that melts at 136 °C (277 °F) and decomposes at 140 °C (284 °F). At 25 °C (77 °F), it has an acid dissociation constant (pKa) of 3.5.

Chemical properties

In solutions of ammonium acetate or the acetates, carbonates, citrates, or hydroxides of the alkali metals, aspirin decomposes very quickly. It is stable in dry air but progressively hydrolyzes into acetic and salicylic acids when it comes into contact with moisture. The hydrolysis happens quickly in alkali solutions, and the clear solutions that result may only include acetate and salicylate.

Similar to flour mills, aspirin tablet makers must regulate the quantity of powder that is allowed to get airborne inside the structure since the combination of powder and air might be explosive. 5 mg/m3 (time-weighted average) is the recommended exposure limit in the United States, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).


Aspirin production is categorized as an esterification process. When salicylic acid is combined with the acid derivative acetic anhydride, a chemical reaction occurs that converts the hydroxyl group of the acid into an ester group (R-OH R-OCOCH3). Acetic acid, which is regarded as a byproduct of this reaction, and aspirin are the products of this process. Almost often, phosphoric acid or sulfuric acid in small volumes is utilized as a catalyst. Commonly, this technique is illustrated in undergraduate teaching laboratories.

Aspirin may also be created through the esterification of acetic acid and salicylic acid; however, this process is reversible, and the presence of water can cause the aspirin to be hydrolyzed. So it is better to use an anhydrous reagent.

Reaction mechanism

Because aspirin may hydrolyze in damp circumstances to produce salicylic and acetic acids, formulations with high aspirin concentrations sometimes have a vinegar-like odor.

Medical use

Aspirin is used to treat a variety of ailments, such as fever, pain, rheumatic fever, and inflammatory disorders like Kawasaki illness, pericarditis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Lower aspirin dosages have also been demonstrated to lower the chance of dying from a heart attack or the risk of stroke in individuals who are at high risk or who have cardiovascular disease, but not in older individuals who are otherwise healthy. Although the exact processes underlying this benefit are unknown, there is evidence that aspirin is useful in preventing colorectal cancer.

Adverse effect

An uncomfortable stomach is a typical side effect. The exacerbation of asthma as well as stomach bleeding and ulcers are more serious adverse effects. People who are older, drink alcohol, use other NSAIDs, or are taking other blood thinners have a higher risk of bleeding. Taking aspirin during the final trimester of pregnancy is not advised. Due to the possibility of developing Reye syndrome, it is typically not advised for children who have infections. Ringing in the ears has been linked to high dosages.

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