Aspirin® Complex is a combined preparation of the active ingredients acetylsalicylic acid and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. Due to the different active ingredients Aspirin® Complex has several properties. It has analgesic (analgesic), anti-inflammatory (antiphlogistic) and also antipyretic properties. It is available in pharmacies without a prescription, either as a granulate to dissolve or as a hot drink, which additionally contains eucalyptus and mint, which clears the airways. A hot drink is also soothing and warming for a cold.
Effect of Aspirin® Complex
The two components of Aspirin Complex® have different effects. Acetylsalicylic acid is an enzyme that irreversibly inhibits cyclooxygenase 1. This enzyme is normally responsible for the formation of various signal molecules in the area of pain, inflammation or blood clotting.
If these signalling substances are no longer formed by taking acetylsalicylic acid, the corresponding signals are missing. The pain is relieved, the inflammation processes are stopped and the blood platelets no longer stick to each other, thus inhibiting blood clotting. The second component, pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, is a sympathomimetic.
This means that it activates the sympathetic nervous system and thus increases the body’s willingness to be active. This effect is based on the fact that it increases the concentration of norepinephrine, which leads to the stimulation of various processes. Among other things, the blood vessels are constricted by activating certain receptors on their walls.
As the vessels in the area of the nasal mucosa also become narrow, the latter swells. The respiratory tract is thus cleared and air can be breathed more easily. For this reason, this drug is often used for colds with a rhinitis.
Duration of action
The duration of action of the two ingredients of Aspirin® Complex differ. The acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) is converted relatively quickly by the body and is no longer present in its original form after only 20 minutes. However, Aspirin is already effective in this short time and the first degradation products also continue to show effects.
Thus the pain-relieving effect lasts for about four to six hours. Since Aspirin® irreversibly inhibits platelet attachment, this effect lasts until platelet renewal. The average platelet survival time is seven days, after which the effect of Aspirin® ends. Pseodoephedrine is absorbed within half an hour to two hours, depending on how long the last meal was taken. After that, the proportion in the blood is reduced by half within the next five to eight hours and the effect continues to decrease.
Fields of application
The drug is suitable for the symptomatic treatment of a cold (rhinosinusitis) and is particularly helpful in reducing swelling of the nasal mucosa to make breathing easier. It also helps to relieve the fever and pain often associated with colds. Aspirin® complex generally relieves headaches, sore throats and aching limbs. Aspirin® complex can also be taken when the first symptoms of an illness are already felt. Under favourable circumstances it can prevent the onset of a cold or its outbreak.