Effects of Aspirin

Aspirin(acetylsalicylic acid) is a salicylate drug, often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and an anti-inflammatory medication.Aspirin also has an antiplatelet effect.

Aspirin is also used long-term, at low dosage, to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and blood clot formation in people at high risk of developing blood clots. Also, low doses of aspirin may be given immediately after a heart attack to reduce the risk of another cardiac arrest . Aspirin may be effective at preventing certain types of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer.

However, the main side effects of aspirin are gastrointestinal ulcers, stomach bleeding, and ringing in the ears, especially with higher doses. In children and adolescents, aspirin is not recommended for flu-like symptoms or viral illnesses because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome.

In conclusion, drugs in general should be used in the right dosage if not side effects may occur that may be lethal. By doing this project, we can know more about this common drug and consume with caution. Likewise, we can share this knowledge to the people around us and be more aware to the drug we take.


Aspirin. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2015, from http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resource/rws00002157/aspirin


The active ingredient of aspirin was first discovered from the bark of the willow tree in 1763 by Edward Stone of Wadham College, University of Oxford. He discovered Salicylic acid which is the active metabolite of aspirin. Aspirin was first synthesized by Felix Hoffmann, a chemist with the German company Bayer in 1897. Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications in the world, with an estimated 40,000 tonnes of it being consumed each year. Aspirin is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.

Aspirin is part of a group of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but it differs from the others in terms of the mechanisms involved. Instead of affecting more of COX-1 as compared to COX-2, aspirin inhibits enzymecyclooxygenase (COX) in an irreversible manner.

The chemical structure of aspirin:



Synthesis of Aspirin

Raw Materials:

  • Phenol
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Acetic Anhydride
  • Hydrogen

The Reactions


Aspirin. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2015, from http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resource/rws00002157/aspirin
Reactions. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2015, from http://www.aspirin-foundation.com/what/reactions.html


Question Session 18 March

Q: The concerns of acid rain vary across the globe. Many countries in North America and Europe have websites dealing with acid rain. Either search to locate one (“Canada, acid rain”) or use these links to websites in Canada, the UK, or Europe. What are the issues in the country you selected? Does the acid deposition originates outside the borders of the country?





Country: Canada

Issues: Air pollution, Climate change, Logging, Chemical pollution

Does the acid deposition originates outside the borders of the country?: Yes. Air pollution in Canada is contributed to by industrial and vehicular emissions, agriculture, construction, wood burning and energy production. These activities happens in US as well, thus some acid deposition may enter the country by accident as well.

Meeting Log 3

Date: 4th March 2015

Attendance: Branson, Desmond, Jackson, Jocelyn and Long

Absentee: Maithilli Anpazhahan

Agenda: To make both videos under the section for ‘Chemical Concept’ and ‘Implications to Society’

Duration: 5 Hours

Plan of Action: Fast drawing concept for the first video. A short lecture on implications of Aspirin for the second video.



Overall, the lecture format is alright. The amended timing for the quiz is sufficient for us to complete most of the questions on the first time. The answers to the additional group work during lecture could be posted on the blog instead. As such, we can save time in class, and go through the key concepts in the lecture notes.

Why are drugs important?

Drugs are important in our everyday lives as it provide us with the necessary chemicals to combat illnesses or diseases when our body are too weak to do so in a shorter stipulated time.  For some diseases, drugs can be a substitute to surgery when an individual is risk averse to surgery. Nonetheless, an individual should always do a cost-benefit analysis in the consumption of a specific drug as some drugs have side effects that should not be neglected.

What are drugs?

Drugs are chemical substances that can change how your body and mind work.  Alcohol, caffeine, aspirin and nicotine are some examples. When a drug passes through your body to your brain, it can change how the brain cells are interacting with each other as well as to the rest of the body. It does this by interfering with your brain’s own chemical signals. Having said that, drugs can be a poison or a cure depending on its dosage.



Q1: Understanding Earth’s energy balance is essential to understanding the issue of global warming. For example, the solar energy striking Earth’s surface averages 168 watts per square meter (W/m²), But the energy leaving Earth’s surface averages 390 W/m². Why isn’t Earth cooling rapidly?

The atmosphere retains much of the energy radiated by the surface of the Earth known as “Green house effect”.

Q2: Do you think the statement made by the cartoon is justified.

The quote is not justified and it’s meant to make fun of people who are ignorant about global warming and don’t know the difference between weather and climate. Just because there are particular seasons in regions that are cold, like winter, it doesn’t mean that that earth is getting cooler. Climate describes the typical and average weather a region will have over long period of time, like 30 years or more. This is why scientists use climate for statistics about earth’s temperature and whether it’s getting warmer or colder. Weather on the other hand isn’t reliable and it’s nothing more than the condition of the atmosphere over a short period of time.


Q3: One of the first radar devices developed during the World Ward II used microwave radiation of a specific wave range that triggers the rotation of water molecules. Why was the design not successful?

The way sonar works is that it hits something without interactions with it. Thus no energy transfer no energy lost means that the energy will be transferred back to the sonar detector. But if the wave do cause rotation of the water molecules, the energy will dissipates and thus there will not be any returning waves.

Q4: Now that you studied air quality (Unit 1), stratospheric ozone depletion (Unit 2) and global warming (Unit 3), which do you believe poses the most serious problem for you in the short run? In the long run?

Short run: (Unit 1) Air quality poses the most serious problem because the pollution from incomplete combustion cause the air quality to be bad in the near future. Bad air quality harms human’s heath, which is undesirable.

Long run: (Unit 2) Ozone depletes as it takes time for the ozone to be depleted and causes UV- rays from sun to reach the Earth. It has many harmful effects on human such as skin cancer, etc. As a result, global warming (Unit 3) occurs, resulting in more harmful effects such as flooding and global change in temperature.

Meeting log 2

Date: 11th February 2015

Attendance: Branson, Desmond, Jackson, Jocelyn and Long.

Absentee: Maithilli Anpazhahan

Agenda: To discuss questions from ‘Team Questions Session 3’ and to draft out introductory paragraph

Duration: 1 Hour

Plan of action: Introductory paragraph to be done on google docs. Finalized answers for “Team Questions Session 3” will be posted by Long

Meeting log 1

Date: 6th February 2015

Attendance: Branson, Desmond, Jackson, Jocelyn and Long.

Absentee: Maithilli Anpazhahan

Duration: 1 Hour

Topic: Unit 8 – Drugs

Agenda: To choose chemical concept in Unit 8, to decide the different usages of drugs and its implication to society and everyday life.

Drugs that were considered: Penicillin, Viagra, Aspirin, Marijuana, Ibuprofen, Opium, Morphine

Drug Chosen: Aspirin

Rationale: It is a very common drug that is widely available and prescribed.

Side Effects: Blood thinning, Balding, Heartburn, Nausea, Reye’s syndrome, Ringing in ears, Rash, Shortness of breath, Food restriction

Positive effects: Decrease heart attack, Prevent Ischaemic stroke, Prevent dementia etc.

Video guidelines:

1) Do up a vanguard sheet and explain the concepts of aspirin.

2) Role playing to raise awareness of the pros and cons of taking aspirin

Job Allocation:

1) All members are to participate actively in our discussion to maximize our learning experience.

2) Jackson and Jocelyn will ensure that the blog is updated.

3) Branson, Desmond and Long will draft out the minutes for every meeting and be in charge of the video segment.