Term Paper: Aspirin -- Wonder Drug Today

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[. . .] Many doctors recommend taking 80 mg of aspirin each day to ward off heart disease and generally aid in blood circulation by thinning the blood.

How does the drug "work?" Recent studies have finally shed some light on what actually happens when a person swallows this little white pill. Aspirin has a variety of effects, but one of the major effects is reducing the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are substances somewhat like hormones that affect the flexibility of blood vessels, among many other things in the body, and this is one reason aspirin is effective in promoting a healthy heart.

Today, aspirin may seem innocuous and even a little old fashioned, but it is still the most widely used drug in the world -- something Bayer did not expect when Hoffman made the discovery over 100 years ago. Author Jan R. McTavish says of Bayer, "No one, however, apparently anticipated that in less than two decades this new compound would become the manufacturer's best-selling medicine and the world's most widely used drug (a distinction it still holds)" (McTavish 112). New forms of aspirin have been developed as more study has gone into the drug. Aspirin causes gastrointestinal distress and even bleeding in some people or if people take it over long periods, so scientists came up with buffered aspirin to combat these problems. A new type of "plasticized" aspirin is also being developed to help combat these problems.

Aspirin can also cause death if it is taken in extremely large doses -- especially in children. In some people, it can also cause nausea, diarrhea, and/or vomiting. However, for most people it is one of the safest, inexpensive, and effective ways to combat fever, aches and pains, and many other illnesses. It is also a major portion of over 50 other over-the-counter drugs ("Aspirin"). Aspirin really is the wonder drug of the world!


"Aspirin." The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2004.

Editors. "The World of Aspirin." Aspirin.com. 2005. 22 Aug. 2005.

< http://www.aspirin.com/world_of_aspirin_en.html#

Flieger, Ken. "Aspirin: A New Look at an Old Drug." FDA Consumer Jan.-Feb. 1994: 18+.

McTavish, Jan R. Pain and Profits: The History of the Headache and Its Remedies in America. New… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Aspirin -- Wonder Drug Today."  Essaytown.com.  August 22, 2005.  Accessed December 10, 2019.