Photograph of Aspirin under the microscope.

Aspirin is a salicylic acid acetate with anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties that also acts as a highly effective non-opiate analgesic. The drug crystallizes in the form of a white, needle-like powder with only a faint odor. In most cases, pharmaceutical aspirin is covered in a casing to buffer the stomach from injury that may occur from ingesting the drug directly. This coating causes the aspirin to digest in the duodenum, instead of the stomach, which is a more neutral-to-alkaline environment. Aspirin may also be useful in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other problems that may occur when a blood vessel is blocked. Side effects include loss of hearing, confusion, diarrhea, dizziness, and drowsiness.

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