Acetylsalicylic acid

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Acetylsalicylic acid (formula)

Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or more commonly known as aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID, NSA) used as an analgetic, antipyretic, antiphlogistic (anti-inflammatory) and antithrombotic drug. It is therefore used to treat pain, fever, inflammation, but also has the potential to reduce major adverse cardiovascular events by inhibiting platelet aggregation - preventing blood clot formation which could lead to stroke or myocardial infarction (MI). [1]

Trade names of acetylsalicylic acid: Acylpyrin®; Aspirin®

Mechanism of action[edit | edit source]

Chemically, acetylsalicylic acid is a derivative of salicylic acid, which belongs to aromatic hydroxy acids. It irreversibly inhibits (by means of acetylation) the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) both type 1 and 2 but has a greater affinity to COX-1. COX-1 is a constitutive enzyme, while COX-2 is inducible. By inhibiting the COX enzymes, acetylsalicylic acid blocks the synthesis of eicosanoids (prostaglandins, prostacylin, thromboxanes, ...) from arachidonic acid.

Dosing[edit | edit source]

  • Low dose (75-100 mg daily) – inhibition of platelet aggregation
    • Low dose of aspirin is recommended as a long-term aspirin therapy in prevention of cardiovascular disease events (stroke, MI).
  • Intermediate dose (< 3000g /day) – antipyretic and analgesic effect of aspirin
  • High dose (> 3000g /day) – anti-inflammatory effect of aspirin
    • Aspirin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent in rheumatic disorders, but high doses of aspirin result in toxicity, including tinnitus, hearing loss and gastric intolerance. [2]

Cave!!!.png Giving aspirin to children under 12 years of age is not recommended due to the risk of Reye's syndrome, which is a rare but severe case of acute encephalopathy and hepatic steatosis in children and adolescents.

References[edit | edit source]

Related articles[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 2244, Aspirin [online]. National Library of Medicine, [cit. 2022-11-13]. <>.
  2. Up To Date. Aspirin: Mechanism of action, major toxicities, and use in rheumatic diseases [online]. The last revision October 2022, [cit. 2022-11-13]. <>.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • LEDVINA, Miroslav, et al. Biochemie pro studující medicíny I. díl. 2. edition. Nakladatelství Karolinum, 2009. 269 pp. ISBN 978-80-246-1416-8.
  • LINCOVÁ, Dagmar – FARGHALI, Hassan, et al. Základní a aplikovaná farmakologie. 2. edition. Galén, 2007. 672 pp. ISBN 978-80-7262-373-0.
  • LÜLLMANN, Heinz – MOHR, Klaus – WEHLING, Martin. Farmakologie a toxikologie : 47 tabulek. - edition. Grada Publishing a.s., 2002. 696 pp. pp. 330. ISBN 80-7169-976-4.