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Rev Med Interne. 2000 Mar;21 Suppl 1:89s-96s.

[Aspirin, pain and inflammation].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de rhumatologie et de thérapeutiques, centre hospitalier universitaire Dupuytren, Limoges, France.



Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is among the most commonly analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory used drugs. The anti-inflammatory effects of ASA are mediated by the inhibition of cyclooxygenase enzymes with the subsequent decrease of prostaglandin synthesis.


However, since this discovery of Vane in 1971, much of other mechanisms of anti-inflammatory action, without relation with cyclooxygenases, have been proposed. ASA has peripheric analgesic properties by reducing prostaglandin biosynthesis. But there is evidence that the analgesic effects could be mediated by central mechanisms with changes in the monoaminergic and opioid systems. ASA is essentially used in moderate pains with an inflammatory component (rheumatological disorders, headaches, dental and postoperative pains).


The clinical use of ASA at anti-inflammatory dose is less frequent because the other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are as effective as ASA, but they are associated with less side effects. Nevertheless, the synergism of ASA and morphine association and the possible involvement of the central serotonergic and opiatergic systems in the antinociceptive activity of ASA could confer a greater role of ASA in pain management.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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