/as"peuhr in, -prin/, n., pl. aspirin, aspirins.1. Pharm. a white, crystalline substance, C9H8O4, derivative of salicylic acid, used as an anti-inflammatory agent and to relieve the pain of headache, rheumatism, gout, neuralgia, etc.; acetylsalicylic acid.2. an aspirin tablet: I took two aspirin and went right to bed.[1899; orig. G trademark, equiv. to A(cetyl) ACETYL + Spir(säure) salicylic acid (see SPIRAEA) + -in -IN2]
* * *Common name of acetylsalicylic acid, an organic compound introduced in 1899.The ester of salicylic acid and acetic acid, it inhibits production of prostaglandins in the body. Its analgesic, fever-reducing, and anti-inflammatory effects make it useful in treating headaches, muscle and joint aches, arthritis pain, and the symptoms of mild fevers and infections. It also has anticoagulant activity and is taken in low doses by coronary heart disease patients to prevent heart attack. Prolonged use may cause stomach bleeding and peptic ulcer, and its use in children with fever has been linked to Reye syndrome. See also acetaminophen; ibuprofen; NSAID.
* * *▪ drugalso called acetylsalicylic acidderivative of salicylic acid that is a mild, nonnarcotic analgesic useful in the relief of headache and muscle and joint aches. Aspirin is also effective in reducing fever, inflammation, and swelling and thus has been used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever, and mild infection. In these instances, aspirin generally acts on the symptoms of disease and does not modify or shorten the duration of a disease. It has been used, however, as an anticoagulant in the treatment of such conditions as unstable angina or following a minor stroke or heart attack because of its ability to inhibit the production of blood platelet aggregates (which may cut off the blood supply to regions of the heart or brain).The drug acts by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins (prostaglandin), body chemicals that are necessary for blood clotting and are noted for sensitizing nerve endings to pain. The use of aspirin has been known to cause allergic reaction and gastrointestinal problems in some people. It has also been linked to the development in children (primarily those 2 to 16 years old) of Reye's syndrome (Reye syndrome), an acute disorder of the liver and central nervous system that may follow viral infections such as influenza and chicken pox. Like almost all drugs, aspirin is to be avoided during pregnancy. Compare acetaminophen; ibuprofen.
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