What Is the Chemical Structure of Acetylsalicylic Acid?


Quick Answer

The chemical structure of acetylsalicylic acid consists of an aromatic cyclic compound with a carboxylic group and an ester. It is synthesized by treating salicyclic acid with acetic anhydride. The hydroxyl group on salicyclic acid is turned into an ester. Acetic acid is an additional product formed in the reaction.

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Acetylsalicylic acid is commonly referred to as aspirin. It is part of a group of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, which are used to suppress inflammation. It's used to treat aches in the muscles and joints as well as headaches. It is also effective at reducing fever and treating rheumatoid arthritis.

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