Advantages And Disadvantages Of Aspirin

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When a person has a fever or minor aches and pains, there are three common go-tos to relieve these symptoms. Those are Aspirin, Acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen. Which one an individual chooses varies from person to person and everyone has his or her preference. Thanks to chemistry, all three are available over the counter at any pharmacy and are very affordable. In this paper, I will discuss the history and chemistry behind these common pain-relievers. Beginning with aspirin, aspirin has the molecular formula C9H8O4 and the IUPAC name 2-acetyloxybenzoic acid (1). Aspirin is synthesized by the esterification of the phenolic hydroxyl group of salicylic acid (2). In 1823, the organic compound found in willow bark is given the name salicin, this extract was often used to relieve pain, but once formed into salicylic acid in 1853 scientists found it caused significant gastrointestinal irritation (3). In 1893, scientists found that adding an acetyl group to the salicylic acid reduced gastrointestinal irritation (3). In 1897, Felix Hoffmann develops the process for synthesizing acetyl salicylic acid and by 1914 Australian pharmacist; G. R. Nicholas develops a new way to produce aspirin due to World War I (3). Nicholas produced a salicylic acid reaction with acetic anhydride though this produced an impure form of aspirin (4). With the assistance of Harry W. Smith, Nicholas was able to produce a pure aspirin by solution and re-precipitation in ether (4). Today, aspirin is no longer made

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