Treating Fever

May/June 2008   ISSN-1059-6518   Volume 21 Number 3

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ASPIRIN – Acetylsalicylic Acid

September/October 2002 ISSN-1059-6518 Volume 15, Number 5

The Medicine Chest

ASPIRIN- Acetylsalicylic Acid

by R.X. Daley, PharmD

History: The earliest know uses of salicin, the naturally occurring form of aspirin found in willow bark, dates back to the 5th century B.C. Greek physician Hippocrates, who used it for pain relief.

Salicin was modified to sodium salicylate and was used in the early 1800’s as a pain reliever. However, this form of aspirin was very hard on the stomach. In 1897 a German chemist named Felix Hoffman, in order to help his arthritic father, altered sodium salicylate to acetylsalicylic acid in an effort to make a form of aspirin that was easier on the stomach.

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