A true wonder drug

Aspirin was registered as a trademark exactly 100 years ago this week, after a young chemist working at Bayer in Germany made a discovery which continues to ease body aches, pains, reduce fevers, reduce inflammation and saves lives. Bayer chemist Felix Hoffmann discovered a stable form of acetylsalicylic acid while seeking a pain-relieving medication for his father’s severe rheumatism. Not only did the drug ease his father’s pain and inflammation, it quickly became the world’s most popular pain reliever.

One hundred years later, it continues to be the subject of extensive medical research and has gained recent recognition for life-saving properties as a cardiac care regimen for millions of people. Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is the commercially synthesized form of a naturally occurring compound which has been used for 2,000 years. Found in the white willow tree, the compound was known by Hippocrates, who recommended chewing on willow bark to relieve pain and fever.

Canadians consume 340 million Aspirin tablets each year, and sales continue to grow as increasing evidence points to ASA’s positive effects on the cardiovascular system. Ask your doctor if you’re a candidate f inexpensive “Aspirin therapy”, which could help lower your chances of heart attack and stroke. Research is also ongoing to explore possible links between acetylsalicylic acid and prevention of other diseases including some cancers, diabetes, migraine headaches and Alzheimer’s disease.