New Aspirin Spares Users Stomachaches

Italian scientists alter key molecule in painkiller
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2008 1:49 PM CDT
An employee of German chemical and drug maker Bayer checks a package of Aspirin Plus in a Bayer pill plant in eastern Germany, in this July 11, 2005 file picture.    (AP Photo/Eckehard Schulz)
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(Newser) – Aspirin is one of the world’s top painkillers, but it has a nasty way of attacking the stomach lining. That could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a team of Italian researchers who have molecularly altered the drug. The new aspirin “has no side effects,” the lead researcher told the ANSA news agency.

So far, the drug has only been tested on rats. “But if the results are confirmed by further tests, it should represent a safer alternative to old aspirin,” the researcher said. To craft the better pill, the team actually added atoms to one of the drug’s key molecules, preventing it from irritating the stomach and allowing it to enter the bloodstream faster.