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Published on 18 February 2010

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Researchers pioneer liquid aspirin

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A liquid aspirin ‘lotion’ could be developed using pharmaceutically active ionic liquids, a university expert has said.

The claim comes on the back of new research carried out at Queen’s University Belfast which found that ionic liquids could be used to develop a liquid form of the drug to eliminate problems with oral delivery, namely bitter taste, poor solubility and large tablets.

If successful, the drug, which is commonly used as an analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory treatment, could be made available in liquid salt form, opening up new delivery methods for prescribers.

The team prepared the novel ionic liquids by using simple ion exchange reactions between salts of the active component of aspirin (acetyl salicylate), or the chemically similar salicylic acid, and pharmaceutically active ammonium salts.

The counter ions could be used to add a second function to the ionic liquid drug such as anti-bacterial or anti-microbial behaviour.

Ralf Giernoth, an expert on the synthesis of new ionic liquids at the University of Cologne, Germany, said: “One could imagine easy application of drugs through the skin, since many of the common ionic liquid cations bearing long alkyl chains are known to penetrate the skin and the cell membranes.”

Copyright Press Association 2010
Queen’s University Belfast



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