The Chemistry of Aspirin
Aspirin, one of the first drugs to come into common usage, is still
mostly the widely used in the world - approximately 35,000 metric
tonnes are produced and consumed annually, enough to make over 100
billion standard aspirin tablets every year.
Aspirin, also known as 'acetylsalicylic acid', has a chemical formula
The chemical structure of aspirin:
Aspirin, is analgesic, anti-inflammatory,
antipyretic and is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation. It inhibits
fatty acid cyclo-oxygenase by acetylation of the active site of
enzyme and the pharmacological effects of aspirin are due to the
inhibition of the formation of cyclo-oxygenase products including
prostglandins, thromboxanes and prostacyclin.
Aspirin is prepared by chemical synthesis from salicylic acid, by acetylation with acetic anhydride.