Researchers in Italy have developed a new group of aspirin-like substances which may be safer that conventional aspirin for fighting heart disease, as well as being just as effective.
It has long been known that daily low-doses of aspirin reduce the risk of developing heart attacks and stroke in some people.
However, prolonged use of the anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID can also have some side effects. It can damage the stomach lining, causing bleeding and ulcers that can be life-threatening.
Now, Alberto Gasco and colleagues have developed a new form of aspirin by attaching a special chemical structure — called a nitrooxy-acyl group — that allows the drug to resist breakdown by stomach acidity while promoting its absorption by the blood.
Animal tests have shown that the new drugs also caused reduced or no damage to stomach tissue as compared to regular aspirin.
It was also noted that some molecules also reduced platelet aggregation and promoted artery expansion, which are hallmarks of improved heart health.
The study will be printed in the March 27 issue of the ACS' Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.