Aspirin: Classification & Ingredients

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  • 0:00 What Is Aspirin?
  • 0:51 Classification
  • 1:40 Ingredients
  • 2:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Justine Fritzel

Justine has been a Registered Nurse for 10 years and has a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree.

Aspirin is a very common over-the-counter medication that has many uses. It is widely used throughout the world. In this lesson, we will learn about aspirin's classification and ingredients.

What Is Aspirin?

Aspirin is a drug that has been in use since the late 1800s. It is used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. It's also a blood thinner that can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Aspirin also has many other non-medical uses. If you add aspirin to a vase of flowers, it helps the flowers last longer. If you add aspirin to a facial mask, it improves your complexion.

In 1950, aspirin was recognized as the most widely used medication in the world. It's so popular that nearly 100 billion aspirin tablets are produced every year. Additionally, over 3,500 articles are written on aspirin use yearly. It's such a vastly used drug that it's often called a wonder drug. Let's learn more about the classification of aspirin.


A drug class is a group of drugs that have similar chemical structures, the same effects, or treat the same conditions. A drug can be in more than one drug class.

Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. NSAIDs all treat fever, pain, and inflammation, although each NSAID may have a different chemical structure. NSAIDs work by blocking an enzyme which stops the release of substances in the body that cause pain, fever, or inflammation. A person can have different reactions to different NSAIDs even though they are all in the same drug class.

Aspirin is also an antiplatelet agent. This class of drugs prevents the platelets in the blood from clumping together and forming a clot. This is effective for preventing heart attacks and stroke. Let's look at what aspirin is made from next.

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