How Do Salicylates Work?

Reviewed on 9/22/2021

How do salicylates work?

Salicylates are medications used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. Salicylates are one of the oldest and most commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Salicylates such as aspirin inhibit platelet aggregation, reduce blood clotting, and hence are protective against heart disease.

Salicylates reduce fever by working on the brain’s hypothalamus region, which regulates body temperature. Salicylates reduce inflammation by inhibiting the activity of enzymes known as cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2), essential for the biosynthesis of prostaglandin.

Prostaglandin is a fatty compound produced all over the body except red blood cells. Prostaglandins have many functions that include initiating inflammation, protecting the stomach lining from stomach acids, maintaining kidney function, and regulating blood clotting. 

How are salicylates used?

Some salicylates need a prescription, but most can be obtained over the counter. Salicylates are taken orally and are available in many strengths and forms such as capsules, extended-release capsules, tablets, chewable tablets, and enteric-coated tablets.

Salicylates are usually a part of the treatment in conditions that include:


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What are side effects of salicylates?

Side effects of salicylates may include the following:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some salicylate drugs?

Generic and brand names of salicylate drugs include:

  • acetylsalicylic acid
  • ASA
  • aspirin
  • Bayer Advanced Aspirin
  • Bayer Buffered Aspirin
  • Bayer Children's Aspirin
  • Bayer Extra Strength
  • Bayer Extra Strength Plus
  • Bayer Low Adult Strength
  • Bayer Women's Low Dose
  • Bufferin
  • Bufferin Extra Strength
  • Doan's Extra Strength
  • Durlazo
  • Ecotrin
  • Ecotrin Maximum Strength
  • Extended-Release Bayer 8-Hour Caplets
  • Extra Strength Bayer Plus Caplets
  • Genuine Bayer Aspirin
  • Halfprin DSC
  • magnesium salicylate
  • Maximum Bayer Aspirin
  • Percogesic Maximum Strength Backache Relief
  • salsalate
  • St. Joseph Adult Chewable Aspirin
  • St. Joseph Regular Strength
  • Vazalore

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