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How Aspirin Works

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Joined: 26 Mar 2006
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Location: East Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 5:06 pm    Post subject: How Aspirin Works  Reply with quote

Even before the potential effect of aspirin on heart disease was confirmed, aspirin had been the “anchor drug” in medicine cabinets across the country. Aspirin was officially introduced 100 years ago and has been marketed in its current form for more than 80 years. Aspirin is found in so many homes, however, that few people think of it as a drug. If it were introduced today, though, aspirin might have a difficult time being approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and might even be restricted to being dispensed by prescription only. It does have side effects and it is not for everyone.

The origin of the drug can be traced back to Hippocrates. he advised his followers to chew the leaves of the willow tree to alleviate pain. The Chinese have been using the bark of the same trees -- which contain salicin -- to control fever. In the early 1800’s different derivatives of this bark were tested and one -- acetylsalicylic acid, the chemical name for aspirin -- was found to be tolerated better than the others.

Aspirin can realistically be called a wonder drug because of the many remedial effects it can have on the human body. Basically, it interferes with the production of a series of chemicals in the body -- called prostaglandins -- that regulate many of the body’s vital functions. By blocking certain prostaglandins, aspirin lowers body temperature, relieves minor aches and pains, relieves inflammation and interferes with the role of blood platelets in forming clots. It is this last effect that appears to impact on risk for heart disease.

Blood clots are formed by platelets grouping together. Aspirin interferes with this process by making the platelets less “sticky” -- and therefore less successful in grouping together -- by inhibiting the manufacture of prostaglandins. This same blood “thinning” action that makes aspirin effective in reducing a person’s risk for heart disease is also the reason that some people are unable to take the drug.

Aspirin may well be one of the safest and most widely used drugs on the market today, but it also has some potentially serious side effects for those who cannot tolerate it. Aspirin can be hard on the stomach and cause nausea; it can aggravate gastric ulcers; and cause internal bleeding. It may increase the risk for stroke due to bleeding. Those who are allergic to aspirin can go into shock if they take it. And, aspirin is the trigger to a rare and sometimes fatal childhood disease, Reyes Syndrome, when taken following certain viral infections.

While it can certainly be an effective weapon against heart disease when used as part of a medically supervised program to modify the risks for heart disease, aspirin should not be considered a substitute for stopping smoking, for exercise, or for lowering cholesterol levels. The use of drugs -- even those sold over the counter -- should always be discussed with your physician. Ask your doctor to help you determine if the potential advantages of taking aspirin outweigh the risks in your individual case.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:47 am    Post subject: Aspirin Reply with quote

agree with the fact that aspirin has positive effect however research shows that it is not a god choice for drug t go for. One of the important fact is that it continuous use can make your liver very weak. It is a very strong drug for stomach as mentioned above. Regarding its affect on clotting it should not be taken by the pregnant woman as it can create complications during delivery.

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