aspirin

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aspirin,

acetyl derivative of salicylic acid (see salicylatesalicylate
, any of a group of analgesics, or painkilling drugs, that are derivatives of salicylic acid. The best known is acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin. Now often made synthetically, they were originally derived from salicin,
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) that is used to lower fever, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and thin the blood. Common conditions treated with aspirin include headache, muscle and joint pain, and the inflammation caused by rheumatic fever and arthritis. Aspirin is believed to act against fever, pain, and inflammation by interfering with the synthesis of specific prostaglandinsprostaglandin
, any of a group of about a dozen compounds synthesized from fatty acids in mammals as well as in lower animals. Prostaglandins are highly potent substances that are not stored but are produced as needed by cell membranes in virtually every body tissue.
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 in the body. Because of its ability to inhibit the formation of blood clots, aspirin is also used in low doses to prevent heart attack and stroke in persons with cardiovascular disease and to control unstable angina. The drug's usefulness in preventing certain cancers, the dangerous high blood pressure that sometimes occurs during pregnancy (toxemia), and migraine headaches is also under investigation.

Normal dosage may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal bleeding. Large doses cause acid-base imbalance and respiratory disturbances and can be fatal, especially in children. Aspirin also has been linked to the development of Reye's syndrome (a combination of acute encephalopathy and fatty infiltration of internal organs) in children who have taken it for viral infections. Acetaminophenacetaminophen
, an analgesic and fever-reducing medicine. It is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter medicines, including Tylenol and Midol. Introduced in the early 1900s, acetaminophen is a coal tar derivative that acts by interfering with the synthesis of
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 (Tylenol), which does not cause gastric irritation but does lower fever and relieve pain, is often substituted for aspirin.

Aspirin, although usually made synthetically now, was originally derived from salicin, the active ingredient in willow bark. Willow bark had been used for centuries in folk medicine in certain parts of the world. Acetylsalicylic acid was first prepared by the German chemist Felix Hoffmann, an employee of Friedrich Bayer & Co., in 1897. It is now the active ingredient in many over-the-counter preparations; estimates put American consumption at 80 billion tablets annually.

See analgesicanalgesic
, any of a diverse group of drugs used to relieve pain. Analgesic drugs include the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as the salicylates, acetaminophen, narcotic drugs such as morphine, and synthetic drugs with morphinelike action such as meperidine
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.

aspirin

[′as·prən]
(organic chemistry)

aspirin

1. a white crystalline compound widely used in the form of tablets to relieve pain and fever, to reduce inflammation, and to prevent strokes. Formula: CH3COOC6H4COOH
2. a tablet of aspirin

Aspirin

(language, tool)
A freeware language from MITRE Corporation for the description of neural networks. A compiler, bpmake, is included. Aspirin is designed for use with the MIGRAINES interface.

Version: 6.0, as of 1995-03-08.

ftp://ftp.cognet.ucla.edu/alexis/.