Is aspirin an organic compound?
Aspirin is an analgesic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which is used widely for the treatment of fever, inflammation and mild to moderate pain. Aspirin also plays a key role in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (a progressive autoimmune disease primarily causes inflammation in joints), osteoarthritis (a disease of joint caused by breakdown of joint cartilage) and to reduce the risk of heart attack and deaths caused by heart attack. Aspirin is usually recommended for the patients of ischemic stroke (blockage of blood flow to brain due to blood clot) or mini stroke (blockage of blood flow to brain for short time). This drug is also used to treat the angina (sensation of chest pain occur when heart muscle does not get enough oxygen). The drug is available under generic name Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and brand name Aspirin. The active component of the drug aspirin is salicylic acid, which was initially isolated by Edward Stone from the bark of willow tree in 1763. The drug was first chemically synthesized by Felix Hoffmann at Bayer in 1897. Aspirin is available as acetylsalicylic acid, which is a synthetic pharmaceutical aromatic homomonocyclic compound with a molecular formula C9H8O4. The drug Aspirin is chemically known as 2-(acetyloxy) benzoic acid. It is available in the form of regular strength tablets and caplets, extra strength tablet, delayed-release tablet and quick chewable tablets for oral administration with food or without food.
What is Meprobamate?
Meprobamate belongs to the class of medications known as tranquilizers and is associated with sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety, and some indirect muscle relaxant properties. The drug is marketed by Wallace Laboratories and Wyeth, among others. The drug is available under generic name Meprobamate and brand names such as Amepromat, Quivet, Miltown, Equanil, Meprospan, Zirponand etc. Meprobamate is primarily used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The drug is also indicated for the short-term management of insomnia, nervousness, tension and other conditions associated with anxiety. Besides, Meprobamate is also recommended for the treatment of muscle spasm and immobility due to strains, sprains, and injuries of the back. Meprobamate is a carbamate derivate, synthetic in nature and belongs to the class of organic compounds known as organooxygen compounds. The compound has a molecular formula C9H18N2O4. Meprobamate is chemically known as 2-Methyl-2- propyltrimethylene dicarbamate. The drug is supplied as tablets or capsules for oral administration by mouth with or without food. The tablets are available in varying strength of 200 and 400 mg whereas the capsules are available in extended release forms. The drug is usually taken two to four times a day. Meprobamate is available as a combination product with Aspirin and also with conjugated estrogens.
How Aspirin and Meprobamate work?
Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that inhibits cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme therefore known as COX inhibitor agent. The action of both acetyl and salicylate component of the acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin) and its active metabolite salicylate are liable for the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties through inhibition of cyclooxygenases.
ASA inhibits the COX (both COX-1 and COX-2) activity by binding to it irreversibly. Inhibition of COX results in reduced formation of precursors of prostaglandins and thromboxane from arachidonic acid. Antipyretic effect of ASA results from the intervention in production of Prostaglandin E1 which is a potent pyretic agent. ASA also inhibits the aggregation of platelets. This inhibitory effect of ASA results from the intervention in production of Thromboxane A2 which is accountable for the platelets aggregation.
Meprobamate possesses central nervous system (CNS) depressing activity like other barbiturates. The mechanism of action of Meprobamate remains unexplored. The drug potentiates the release of adenosine that is associated with its central effects. Animal studies indicate the action of the drug at multiple sites in the CNS that includes the hypothalamus, thalamus, limbic system, and spinal cord, excluding the medulla and the autonomic nervous system. Meprobamate binds to GABAA receptors and brings about an interruption in the neuronal communication in the reticular formation and spinal cord thereby resulting in sedation and change in the perception of pain. The sedative effect of the drug also relaxes skeletal muscle tension.
Can both Aspirin and Meprobamate be taken together in combination?
Yes, both the drugs can be taken together in combination. The drugs are available as a fixed dose combination pill in the market only as a prescription drug under the brand names Equagesic and Micrainin. The combination medications consist of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and an anxiolytic agent. The drug is implicated in the short-term treatment of pain accompanied by tension and/or anxiety in patients with musculoskeletal disease. Meprobamate acts by calming certain areas of the brain whereas Aspirin decreases the pain. Clinical studies indicate a greater degree of pain relief in case of combination pill as compared to Aspirin alone. However, the combination pill is not recommended to be used longer than 10 days. Each tablet of Equagesic or Micrainin consists of 200 mg Meprobamate and 325 mg Aspirin. The usual dosage of the combination pill is one or two tablets to be taken by mouth 3 to 4 times a day. The combination drug is not recommended for patients below the age of 12 years.
Safety and precautions while taking Aspirin: Meprobamate combination
- Aspirin and Meprobamate may interact with other drugs. Therefore, care should be taken when you are taking any prescription or non-prescription medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements. It is advisable that you do not start, stop or change or take any medicine unless you have discussed with your doctor or professional consult.
- Do not use the medicine if you are hypersensitive or allergic (e.g., anaphylaxis) to Aspirin or Meprobamate or any of the constituents.
- The combination drug is generally not recommended to be taken in case of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Administration of the drug is usually not recommended with alcohol and other CNS depressants due to the additive effects. It is recommended to consult with your doctor before taking any of the above during drug administration.
- Do not share the medications with other persons having the similar kind of problems. Consult your doctor for more details.
- The drug should not be stopped abruptly before consulting the doctor if used for a longer time or taken in large doses.
- In case of surgery including dental surgery, uptake of Aspirin in the combination medicine should be stopped 5 days before the surgery as it may cause bleeding problems.
- Meprobamate (contained in this combination medicine) may bring about dryness of the mouth and long term drying may increase the chance of dental disease such as tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.
- The combination drug should be taken with caution in patients with history of diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, growth in the nose, bleeding/blood-clotting disorders, kidney or liver disease, brain problems, mental illness, stomach problems, difficulty in urinating.
- It is recommended not to drive a car or operate machinery while taking the combination medication due to associated dizziness or drowsiness.
- The drug is not recommended for patients 12 years of age and below.