«Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), is a medication used to treat pain, fever, or inflammation. Specific inflammatory conditions which aspirin is used to treat include Kawasaki disease, pericarditis, and rheumatic fever. Aspirin given shortly after a heart attack decreases the risk of death. Aspirin is also used long-term to help prevent further heart attacks, ischaemic stroke, and blood clots in people at high risk. It may also decrease the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. For pain or fever, effects typically begin within 30 minutes. Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and works similarly to other NSAID but also suppresses the normal functioning of platelets.
One common adverse effect is an upset stomach. More significant side effects include stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding, and worsening asthma. Bleeding risk is greater among those who are older, drink alcohol, take other NSAID, or are on other blood thinners. Aspirin is not recommended in the last part of pregnancy. It is not generally recommended in children with infections because of the risk of Reye syndrome. High doses may result in ringing in the ears.
A precursor to aspirin found in leaves from the willow tree has been used for its health effects for at least 2,400 years. In 1853, chemist Charles Frédéric Gerhardt treated the medicine sodium salicylate with acetyl chloride to produce acetylsalicylic acid for the first time. For the next fifty years, other chemists established the chemical structure and came up with more efficient methods to make it.:69–75 In 1897, scientists at the Bayer company began studying acetylsalicylic acid as a less-irritating replacement medication for common salicylate medicines.:69–75 By 1899, Bayer had name it "Aspirin" and sold it around the world. Aspirin's popularity grew over the first half of the twentieth century leading to competition between many brands and formulations. The word Aspirin was Bayer's brand name; however, their rights to the trademark were lost or sold in many countries.
Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications globally, with an estimated 40,000 tonnes (44,000 tons) (50 to 120 billion pills) consumed each year. It is on the World Health Organization's (WHO's) List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system. As of 2014[update] the wholesale cost in the developing world is $0.002 to $0.025 USD per dose. As of 2015[update] the cost for a typical month of medication in the United States is less than US$25.00. It is available as a generic medication.
Aspirin is used in the treatment of a number of conditions, including fever, pain, rheumatic fever, and inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, pericarditis, and Kawasaki disease. Lower doses of aspirin have also been shown to reduce the risk of death from a heart attack, or the risk of stroke in people who are at high risk or who have cardiovascular disease, but not in elderly people who are otherwise healthy. There is some evidence that aspirin is effective at preventing colorectal cancer, though the mechanisms of this effect are unclear. In the United States, low dose aspirin is deemed reasonable in those between 50 and 70 years old who have a more than 10% risk of cardiovascular disease, and are not at an increased risk of bleeding, and who are otherwise healthy.
Aspirin is an effective analgesic for acute pain, but is generally considered inferior to ibuprofen for the alleviation of pain because aspirin is more likely to cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Aspirin is generally ineffective for those pain caused by muscle cramps, bloating, gastric distension, or acute skin irritation. As with other NSAID, combinations of aspirin and caffeine provide slightly greater pain relief than aspirin alone.Effervescent formulations of aspirin relieve pain faster than aspirin in tablets, which makes them useful for the treatment of migraine.Topical aspirin may be effective for treating some types of neuropathic pain.
Aspirin, either by itself or in a combined formulation, effectively treats certain types of a headache, but its efficacy may be questionable for others. Secondary headache, meaning those caused by another disorder or trauma, should be promptly treated by a medical provider.
Among primary headache, the International Classification of Headache Disorders distinguishes between tension headache (the most common), migraine, and cluster headache. Aspirin or other over-the-counter analgesics are widely recognized as effective for the treatment of tension headache.
Aspirin, especially as a component of an aspirin/paracetamol/caffeinecombination, is considered a first-line therapy in the treatment of migraine, and comparable to lower doses of sumatriptan. It is most effective at stopping migraine when they are first beginning.
Like its ability to control pain, aspirin's ability to control fever is due to its action on the prostaglandin system through its irreversible inhibition of COX. Although aspirin's use as an antipyretic in adults is well established, many medical societies and regulatory agencies (including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)) strongly advise against using aspirin for treatment of fever in children because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but often fatal illness associated with the use of aspirin or other salicylates in children during episodes of viral or bacterial infection. Because of the risk of Reye's syndrome in children, in 1986, the FDA required labeling on all aspirin-containing medications advising against its use in children and teenagers.
Aspirin is used as an anti-inflammatory agent for both acute and long-term inflammation, as well as for treatment of inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Aspirin is an important part of the treatment of those who have had a myocardial infarction (heart attack).» (wikipedia)
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