Compare And Contrast Aspirin And Acetaminophene

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Aspirin and paracetamol, both used to treat pain. However, which one is actually better? Based solely on its chemical properties, aspirin is a better medication when compared to paracetamol.

Before the first ever pain killers were discovered, willow bark was used an analgesic due to its antipyretic nature. This later lead to the discovery of Aspirin. Acetanilide was the first derivative of paracetamol to be found. However, it could not be used due to its harmful toxic effects. During the 1880s, two antipyretic agents were developed. These were; acetanilide (1886) and phenacetin (1887). In 1877, Harmon Northrop Morse synthesised the first known acetaminophen (paracetamol). However, it was no tested-on humans until 1887 by Joseph von Mering.
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Acetaminophens chemical formula is C_8 H_9 〖NO〗_2. Acetaminophens expanded structure is H〖OC〗_6 H_4 NHCOCH_3.
Acetaminophen has three functional groups; hydroxyl, amide and a benzene ring. A solubility in water of 14 mg/ml at 25ºC. The molecular weight is 151.165 g/mol and the half-life of acetaminophen is 4 hours. Aspirin is an acetylsalicylic acid that is used for an anti-inflammatory. Its chemical formula is C_9 H_8 O_4. Acetylsalicylic acid has three functional groups; carboxylic, ester and benzene ring. Aspirin is also colourless and odourless however is has a shorter half-life of 3.1-3.2 hours. It has a solubility in water of 3 mg/mL at 20ºC. The molecular weight of Aspirin is 180.159
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It is still unsure how exactly Panadol works within the body. However, information is still known about acetaminophen within the body. Paracetamol is metabolized in a hepatic manner. Meaning in the liver. It is converted to inactive compounds in union with sulphuric and glucuronic acid and absorbed into the blood stream. Subsequently, it is excreted from the kidneys. Painkiller work by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2 which catalyse the formation of prostaglandins. Paracetamol works by blocking the COX-3 enzyme which resides in the brain. However, paracetamols inhibiting capability is considered to be weak as it cannot block the (COX) enzyme outside of the central nervous system. This results in paracetamol not possessing anti-inflammatory properties. Panadols antipyretic capabilities are more efficient when compared to aspirin. Panadol has a bioavailability of 70-90% when taken orally. Similar to paracetamol, aspirin works alike. However, Panadol relieves pain by targeting the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord). Where aspirin targets the nerves that lead to the central nervous system. Like paracetamol, aspirin blocks the cyclooxygenase enzymes however aspirin only relieves pain where prostaglandins are being produced. Therefore, unlike paracetamol, aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties as well as reducing pain. Aspirin inhibits COX-2 enzymes whereas paracetamol blocks COX-3 enzymes. Aspirin is

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