Aspirin was synthesized in 1897 by German chemist Felix Hoffman who knew the basic ingredient, salicin. Salicin is found in ground willow bark, which was used by Hippocrates in fifth century B.C. to relieve pain. Aspirin is now used as an anti-inflammatory agent to relieve arthritic pain, and as an antipyretic compound to reduce fever. Another novel use of aspirin is as an inhibitor of blood clot formation by preventing platelets from releasing thromboxane. More than 40 million pounds of aspirin are sold per year in the U.S., equaling 300 tablets per person. Because aspirin is a COX-1 inhibitor, it has the potential to cause gastrointestinal bleeding, thus it is necessary to take only the suggested dose.
Citation of a publication:
Y. Kim, K. Machida, T. Taga, K. Osaki; Chem. Pharm. Bull. 33, (1985), 2641
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