Salicylamide, or 2-hydroxybenzamide, is an odorless, bitter-tasting over-the-counter drug that reduces fever and relieves pain, according to PubChem. The substance is typically in the form of slightly pink or white crystals and creates a feeling of warmth on the tongue. Salicylamide changes from a solid to a gas at its melting point, which is 284 degrees Fahrenheit. Medical professionals have used salicylamide as a weaker version of aspirin, combining it with aspirin and caffeine in nonprescription pain medications.
The molecular formula of salicylamide is C7H7NO2 and its pH is 5, notes PubChem. Salicylamide is stable when exposed to air. Controlled studies show that taking salicylamide alone is not as effective as taking the same dosage of aspirin alone, which makes salicylamide unreliable for reducing fever and stopping pain.
Typical side effects of salicylamide include gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, vomiting and anorexia, explains PubChem. This drug may also cause central nervous system side effects, such as headache, dizziness, drowsiness, sweating and hyperventilation. Doses of 325 to 650 milligrams of salicylamide produce occasional side effects, while higher doses produce adverse effects more often. Higher doses of the drug may cause side effects such as bruise-like skin discoloration and ringing or buzzing in the ears.