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Systematic (IUPAC) name
2-acetoxybenzoic acid
CAS number 50-78-2
ATC code A01AD05 B01AC06, N02BA01
PubChem 2244
DrugBank APRD00264
ChemSpider 2157
Chemical data
Formula C9H8O4 
Mol. mass 180.157 g/mol
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Synonyms 2-acetyloxybenzoic acid
acetylsalicylic acid
O-acetylsalicylic acid
Physical data
Density 1.40 g/cm³
Melt. point 135 °C (275 °F)
Boiling point 140 °C (284 °F) (decomposes)
Solubility in water 3 mg/mL (20 °C)
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability Rapidly and completely absorbed
Protein binding 99.6%
Metabolism Hepatic
Half life 300–650 mg dose: 3.1–3.2 h
1 g dose: 5 h
2 g dose: 9 h
Excretion Renal
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.


Legal status

Unscheduled(AU) GSL(UK) OTC(US)

Routes Most commonly oral. Lysine acetylsalicylate may be given IV or IM

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a drug. It is most commonly used as a pain killer, or to reduce fever or inflammation. It also has an anti-platelet effect - it reduces the number of platelets in the blood which reduces blood clotting- in that function it is used to prevent heart attacks. Aspirin is one of the most-used medical drugs in the world.

There are some possible side-effects to this drug. For example, large amounts can damage the kidneys. Children taking aspirin can develop Reye's syndrome which causes the liver to become fatty and not work properly and also the brain to become enlarged. Reyes syndrome can be fatal, but most children survive it with treatment.

People with lung, kidney disease, gout, hyperuricemia (high amounts of uric acid in the blood), hemophilia (a blood clotting disorder), diabetes or high blood pressure should not take aspirin except on the advice of a qualified medical professional. Nor should people who are allergic to it, to ibuprofen or to naproxen. People with asthma where attacks are brought about by aspirin should avoid using any anti-inflammatory drugs based on it.

Aspirin was invented in Germany in 1897. Bayer has a trademark on the brand name "aspirin" in 80 countries. But in other countries, "aspirin" is the common name for the drug.