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Aspirin: past, present and future

Elwood, Peter Creighton 2001. Aspirin: past, present and future. Clinical Medicine 1 (2) , pp. 132-137. 10.7861/clinmedicine.1-2-132

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Many folk remedies used since prehistoric times have depended upon salicylates for their effect. One hundred years ago aspirin was formulated from salicylic and acetic acids. It was the first drug to be synthesised and its formulation is regarded as the foundation of the modern pharmaceutical industry. The benefit of low-dose aspirin as a prophylactic after a thrombotic event was first reported 25 years ago. Its use after coronary or cerebral thrombosis is virtually mandatory, unless there are signs of intolerance. A ‘loading dose’ of soluble aspirin should be given on first contact with a patient who may be suffering from myocardial infarction. Patients considered to be at increased risk of a vascular event should also be advised to carry their own aspirin and, if they experience sudden severe chest pain, to chew and swallow a 300mg tablet or a soluble preparation immediately. The current phase of the aspirin story is, however, not over, and its possible value in a variety of conditions, including dementia and certain cancers, seems likely to ensure that it will long continue to play a remarkable part in clinical practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Royal College of Physicians
ISSN: 1470-2118
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:46

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