Nonopioid Analgesics | Opioid Analgesics | Antidepressants | Anticonvulsants | Other Pharmacological Agents
The anti-inflammatory properties of the extract of willow bark
have been known for centuries. Salicylic acid was discovered as
the extract's active ingredient in the nineteenth century
and was subsequently acetylated to improve its gastrointestinal
tolerability; acetylsalicylic acid became the prototypical analgesic
aspirin. Aspirin and other related compounds constitute a class
of drugs known as NSAIDs. All NSAIDs have three desirable pharmacological
effects—anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic.
NSAIDs and acetaminophen are among the most commonly prescribed
medications for acute and chronic pain and can also be obtained
without a prescription.