ingredient information
acetylsalicylic acid The active ingredient in Aspirin®, acetylsalicylic acid, was synthesized for the first time in a chemically pure and thus stable form in 1897 by a young chemist working for Bayer, Dr. Felix Hoffmann. At that time, there were very few options for the treatment of patients suffering from pain. acetylsalicylic acid, or ASA. In contrast to many other commonly used drugs, acetylsalicylic acid's mechanism of action has been thoroughly documented and described. We now know that even small doses of less than 100 mg acetylsalicylic acid, equivalent to, for example, one 100 mg Aspirin® tablet, inhibit the body's production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are extremely effective, hormone-like substances that are produced by the body in miniscule quantities and are involved in the regulation of such varied processes as pain, fever and inflammation, the inducement of birth contractions, the development of malignant tumors (cancer) or the obstruction of blood vessels. While some people have shied away from acetylsalicylic acid because they fear it will upset their stomach, most people have no trouble taking acetylsalicylic acid - in fact, less than six percent of the population cannot take acetylsalicylic acid due to stomach upset. Acetylsalicylic acid is both well tolerated and effective, yet like all drugs, it may have undesirable side effects. People who are allergic to acetylsalicylic acid, or have asthma, persisting or recurring stomach problems (such as heartburn, upset stomach or stomach pain), ulcers or bleeding problems should not take acetylsalicylic acid unless directed by a doctor. Diabetics should take acetylsalicylic acid as analgesic only under a doctor's supervision, with careful blood glucose monitoring. Combining acetylsalicylic acid or similar drugs with oral anti-diabetes drugs can decrease blood sugar levels more than expected. It is especially important not to use Aspirin® during the last three months of pregnancy unless specifically directed to do so by a doctor, because it may cause problems in the unborn child or complications during delivery. Effect on blood: The first step in our body's blood clotting mechanism is for particles in the blood, called platelets, to stick together and form a clot. This process is triggered by certain chemical messengers. Acetylsalicylic acid reduces the effect of these messengers, thus decreasing the ability of the platelets to clump together, so that clots cannot form as easily. source: