Asprinie Experiment Essay

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Lab Report #7 Preparation of Acetylsalicylic Acid Karen McClellan Title: Synthesis of Aspirin The purpose of this experiment is to explore how chemical reactions occur by synthesizing aspirin and then analyzing the aspirin for purity and yield. Aspirin is the most widely used over-the-counter drug in the world. The average tablet contains about 325 milligrams of acetylsalicylic acid with an inert binding material such as starch. Aspirin is used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower fever. Aspirin originally was derived by boiling the bark of the white willow tree. Although the salicin in willow bark has analgesic properties, purified salicylic acid was bitter and irritating when taken orally. Salicylic acid was neutralized with sodium to produce sodium salicylate, which was better-tasting but still irritated the stomach. Salicylic acid could be modified to produce phenylsalicylate, which was better tasting and less irritating, but released the toxic substance phenol when metabolized. By law, all drugs sold in the United States must meet purity standards set by the Food and Drug Administration, so all aspirin is essentially the same. Each 5 grain tablet contains 0.325 g of acetylsalicylic acid held together with a binder. The remarkable difference in price for aspirin is primarily a reflection of the advertising budget of the company that sells it. Aspirin is an analgesic (painkiller), an antipyretic (fever reducer), and an anti-inflammatory agent. It is the premier drug for reducing fever, a role for which it is uniquely suited. As an antiinflammatory, it has become the most widely effective treatment for arthritis. Patients suffering from arthritis must take so much aspirin (up to four grams per day) that gastric problems may result. For this reason, aspirin is often combined with a buffering agent. Bufferin is an example of such a
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