N.RICHARDSON / CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY N.RICHARDSON / CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aspirin. Computer graphics model of a molecule of aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid (C9.H8.O4). Colour-coded atoms are: hydrogen (red); oxygen (blue); carbon (green). Aspirin is an analgesic drug used for the relief of moderate pain which also reduces inflammation and fever. It is derived from salicylic acid, the active ingredient of willow bark, which was chewed to relieve symptoms of malaria in the mid-18th century. Salicylic acid was effective in reducing fevers but was highly unpalatable, and the more palatable acetyl- salicylic acid was developed. Aspirin may play a role in prevention of coronary heart disease.
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