JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aspirin. Computer model of molecules of aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid (C9.H8.O4). The atoms in the molecule are represented by coloured spheres whilst the bonds between them are represented by cylinders. 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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