Is there a brand of low dose aspirin
December 22, 2012 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Is there a brand of low dose aspirin that doesn't contain the mix of crap they put in the main brands like Corn Starch, FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake, Flavor, Mannitol, Saccharin, Silicon Dioxide, etc?
posted by tangyraspberry to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
I found what you're looking for, but only by searching 'acetyl salicylic acid animal grade', which may not be safe for human consumption:

for example.

you might also try sigma aldrich, but i would not try consuming that under any circumstances (you don't say what you want this for).

if it's for consumption, i understand the un-desirability of dyes and saccharin, but things like mannitol and silicon dioxide can contribute to the stability of the drug (i have no idea how much they contribute or how unstable the drug is in their absence).
posted by Tandem Affinity at 4:33 PM on December 22, 2012

I haven't found one recently (corn allergic), and I do without. If that's not an option, you could check to see if you have a compounding pharmacy nearby that could make one up for you.

Sorry I can't be of more help. Good luck.
posted by faineant at 5:02 PM on December 22, 2012

Just as an FYI, a lot of that "crap" is there for a reason - so that it actually comes out of a pill press as a pill (a dosing issue) and for reasons of solubility. Yes, you could dissolve laboratory grade acetylsalicylic acid in water and drink that but it tastes nasty and is a lot harder on your stomach.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:08 PM on December 22, 2012 [6 favorites]

If Docusate Sodium, Fumaric Acid, Lactose Monohydrate, and Potassium Chloride are ok (that is, corn is the main problem) you can look at aspirin powders. They don't have cornstarch because they aren't pressed into a pill form.

If you are trying to go "natural," you can look at willow bark.
posted by Houstonian at 5:15 PM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

You could make it yourself?
posted by oceanjesse at 5:40 PM on December 22, 2012

I would check with a compounding pharmacy (usually a little mom-and-pop shop).
posted by radioamy at 5:41 PM on December 22, 2012

Don't even think about synthesizing your own drugs for human consumption. You have got to be kidding me.

As for compounding pharmacies, you may remember a recent case where dozens of people died from drugs improperly made at a compounding pharmacy. The current compounding pharmacy regulatory regime is pretty lax, and I would avoid them until laws are a little stricter.
posted by grouse at 6:33 PM on December 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

You need to have some sort of filler in with the active ingredient in order to reasonably administer a dose. A low dose (80 mg) of pure aspirin makes a cube about a half a millimetre on a side (IE: in the rough ball park of the head of a pin). Even a compounding pharmacy is going to mix the pure aspirin with something otherwise you'd need to measure each day's dose with a high accuracy precision scale.
posted by Mitheral at 7:21 PM on December 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

Well... this is more for corn allergy than anything else, but you can get willow bark from herbal stores, which is unrefined aspirin. If I remember correctly, it seeps like a tea or something, and it has small amounts of natural salicylic acid in it. I wouldn't recommend compounding unless you're allergic to corn starch- it's very expensive, and most insurance won't cover it. And like someone else said, you'd still need a filler. Many corn allergics use tapioca starch.
posted by Aliera at 10:21 PM on December 22, 2012

Normally I wouldn't recommend making your own pharmaceuticals unless you know what you are doing, but asprin is simple enough to extract from willow back and the reaction to make it that oceanjesse described is so simple and nothing can really go wrong from it. The only issue would be if the reaction didn't proceed in that case you would end up taking sialic acid (harmless and found in willow bark naturally for those "natural chemicals are better that synthetic chemicals" people) and some acetic acid (aka vinegar or spoiled wine).

Also the danger that grouse highlighted from improperly made drugs causing meningitis was that the pharmacy is making a steroid formulation for direct injection into the spinal column. A few cells of a fungus would cause a whole host of problems when injected directly into your spinal column, but if you are having a compounding pharmacy making asprin tablets for you from pharmacopeia grade acetyl-sialic acid and just substituting a different filler to bind the tablets you shouldn't worry. Your digestive system is constantly handling small amounts of bacteria and fungii, but it has mechanisms in place to do so that you spinal fluid does not. I would be very cautious about injecting anything into anywhere and where that came from, but I have definitely made my own asprin and taken it before (Note I am a medicinal chemist with many years of making things and PURIFYING THEM in lab so YMMV) without any ill effects.

If you've got some allergy to some of the filler then get something specially made. If you are worried about food dye and the other inert ingredients in the tablet you need to calm down and realize that everything is made out of weird sounding chemicals and I could rename nearly everything on the list and make is sound simpler and less scary ie silicon dioxide = sand I guarantee you've eaten sand before and will again in much larger quantities than present in a tablet of asprin.
posted by koolkat at 3:43 AM on December 23, 2012

IANAchemistorpharmacist, koolkat, but isn't the raw plant-derived substance salicylic acid, not sialic acid?

I have a vague memory that the main reason for acetyl-izing it was for taste and stomach irritation, anyway; in which case willow bark tea (or other salicyic-acid-containing extracts) should be as effective vs headaches, just less pleasant to take and much harder to take a consistent dose of. Anyone going this route should probably not take my word for this though…
posted by hattifattener at 11:17 PM on December 23, 2012

My Bad I have sialic acid on the brain as it is in one project that I have worked on in the past. Of course you want salicylic acid or 2-hydroxy benzoic aicd and not sialic acid which is a component in cell wall carbohydrates and cellular recognition.
posted by koolkat at 7:07 AM on December 27, 2012

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