Case Study Project On Aspirin

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My Pet Toxicant- Aspirin
Name:Róisín O’Donoghue
Student Number: 14321746

Figure 1: The structure of aspirin. Made using ChemDraw
At recommended doses, aspirin is a relatively safe drug and is taken by millions of people all over the world. However chronic use can produce harmful effects on the gastric mucosa, and at a dose of about 0.15 to 0.5g/kg it can be fatal. It contributes to approximately 15% of reported accidental deaths in children due to poisoning and this is as a result of ingestion of salicylates, in particular aspirin. (Hodgson, 2004)
Aspirin and salicylic acid products are the active ingredients of hundreds of therapeutic and OTC products. These products are used in analgesics, anti-inflammatory agents, and antipyretics, in
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It has both physiological effects and metabolic effects and a few of these effects are interconnected. (Timbrell, 2000) The toxic exposure of aspirin is >150 mg/kg while the lethal exposure is >500mg/kg. In a study carried out on 177 patients who suffered acute acetylsalicylic acid poisoning it was observed that patients suffered from respiratory failure, metabolic acidosis, cardiovascular function was negatively affected and 15% of patients over 40 years old died. Autopsys carried out on the 27 patients who died showed there were ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract, pulmonary and cerebral oedema as well as cerebral haemorrphage showing severe brain and lung trauma. (Thisted et al., 1987). After the ingestion of 10 to 30g of aspirin in adults and only 3g in children, a fatal intoxication can occur. Even though there is not a direct link between serum salicylate concentration and symptoms of toxic effects, majority of people show signs of toxicity when the serum levels surpass 40 to 50mg/dL; the general therapeutic range is 10-30 mg/dL. (Hill, 1973) The first effect of salicylate is hyperventilation, this is due to direct respiratory center stimulation and increased formation of carbon dioxide while also using a larger amount of oxygen. In the mitochondria there is an increase in the rate of oxidation of substrates because of uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. Further stimulation of the respiratory system…show more content…
Salicylate poisoning is still one of the major clinical hazards, usually resulting from the accidental ingestion in young children, intentional overdose in both adults and teenagers and the therapeutically obtained intoxication in all ages. (Temple, 1981) As little as 10 to 12 adult 325mg tablets of aspirin can cause mild toxicity in an average five year old child (20kg). (Barile, 2004) Toxicity can range from mild to fatal. Aspirin is relatively easy to obtain as it is an active ingredient in many therapeutic and over the counter products and in several prescription medications. This makes it a very important drug and knowing how it acts as a toxicant is
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