Aspirin is a common term for the salicylate drug called acetylsalicylic acid, which has numerous medical uses. Some people use it as an anti-inflammatory agent, while others use it as antipyretic to lower high body temperature that is commonly associated with fever. Furthermore, it can also be used to relieve individuals from minor pains and aches because it serves as a good analgesic. Here is a look at the various important aspects of this important drug including why old aspirin smells like vinegar.
The Different Components of Aspirin
Why does old aspirin smell like vinegar? The primary reason behind the vinegar-like smell of old aspirin is the presence of acetic acid and salicylic acid, which are yielded when an aspirin undergoes hydrolysis. Moist conditions contribute to its decomposition, especially when people stock it for a very long period. Its acid dissociation constant stands at 3.5 at 25 degrees Celsius.
Additional Details and Other Useful Information About Aspirin
In addition to its aforementioned purposes, physicians also use this medicine as an anti-coagulate or anti-platelet agent. This is probably the reason why the low-dose long-term use of this drug can eventually limit the possibility of certain individuals to have blot clot formation, strokes and heart attacks. Cardiologists even use it immediately on patients who have recent heart attacks in order to lower the risk of cardiac tissue death as well as to prevent another attack.
Just like other medicines, this drug has several undesirable side effects. When people take it on higher doses, there is a possibility for them to develop tinnitus, stomach bleeding and gastrointestinal ulcers. Add to that, it must never be used to treat viral illnesses such as chickenpox and flu-like symptoms because it can somehow lead to the development of a fatal disease called Reye’s syndrome.
This useful medicine can be classified under the label NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Annually, people consume approximately about 40,000 metric tons of aspirin worldwide. Throughout the years, this drug has been proven safe and effective for treating mild to moderate levels of pain such as fever and migraines. When used in relatively high doses, it can be effective against inflammatory joint conditions such as rheumatic arthritis and rheumatic fever.
In some other cases, aspirin can help a lot in treating various kinds of diseases like acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease as well as pericarditis. Today, its use is not only limited to humans. Instead, veterinarians also use it to treat dogs of arthritis and pain.