Felix HoffmannFelix Hoffmann


In 1890, salicylic acid was cheaply manufactured as an effective inflammation reliever for rheumatoid arthritis, despite unpleasant side effects (nausea, gastric catarrh). Acetylsalicylic acid (or aspirin) was synthesized in 1897 by German chemist Felix Hoffmann at Bayer and tested pharmacologically by Heinrich Dreser. Production started in 1899.

Aspirin is mainly taken as an anti-headache medicineAspirin is mainly taken as an anti-headache medicine

Aspirin was sold as first pills ever in 1900. Aspirin became popular soon as it exerted much less side-effects compared with salicylic acid. Aspirin, the first medicine produced at industrial level, is among the pills manufactured in high amounts still today. It was consumed mainly as an anti-headache drug until the mid eighties. Its beneficial effect in preventing heart attacks was also unraveled in this time.

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On 6 March 1899, the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin registered Aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid, on behalf of the German pharmaceutical company Friedrich Bayer & Co. According to estimates, some one trillion (1012) pills have been sold since the beginning. Today, aspirin is one of the most widely used and produced medications in the world.

Aspirin molecule