At usual therapeutic doses (blood levels), expected effects of aspirin include which of the following.
|A||Efficacy greater than acetaminophen as an anti-inflammatory agent|
|B||Efficacy less than acetaminophen for relieving simple headache pain|
|C||Inhibited growth, or killing, of bacteria that cause fever as a symptom of infection|
|D||Inhibition of leukotriene synthesis, protection against bronchospasm in asthmatics|
a. Aspirin inhibits synthesis of prostaglandins that are important in the pathophysiology signs, and symptoms of a host of inflammatory or arthritic states.
b. It does so, of course, by inhibiting both COX-1 and -2. Acetaminophen lacks this property, and so acetaminophen is much less efficacious for managing inflammation.
c. Aspirin and acetaminophen are equally efficacious (and, for all practical purposes, equipotent) for relieving simple headache pain for most patients. (Note, however, when pain involves a component of inflammation, aspirin is clearly superior to acetaminophen because it suppresses both the inflammation and the pain caused by it).
d. Acetaminophen is a reversible inhibitor of the enzyme cyclooxygenase and hence the anti-inflammatory effects are poor. The drug reduces the levels of pyrogens and prostaglandins.
e. Aspirin usually helps normalize or lower body temperature in febrile states, but this, too, involves inhibited synthesis of prostaglandins (peripherally perhaps, leading to increased heat loss through diaphoresis, but also in such central structures as the hypothalamus, which is a prime temperature- regulating structure).
f. Aspirin does not exert bacteriostatic or bactericidal effects (at any level encountered in vivo), and so antibiotic effects do not contribute to its antipyretic actions.