DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph (LM) of Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) crystals. Aspirin is a drug in the family of salicylates, often used as an analgesic (against minor pains and aches), antipyretic (against fever), and anti-inflammatory. It has also an anticoagulant (blood thinning) effect and is used in long-term low-doses to prevent heart attacks. Because there appears to be a connection between aspirin and Reye's syndrome, aspirin is no longer used to control flu-like symptoms in children. Low dose long term aspirin irreversibly blocks formation of thromboxane A2 in platelets, producing an inhibitory affect on platelet aggregation, and this blood thinning property makes it useful for reducing the incidence of heart attacks. Its primary undesirable side effects, especially in stronger doses, are gastrointestinal distress (including ulcers and stomach bleeding) and tinnitus. Magnification: x50 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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