Aspirin inhibits cyclo-oxygenase, thus preventing prostanoids formation. After oral administration aspirin is hydrolysed to inactive salicylate partly within the gastrointestinal tract, partly during first pass in the liver, partly in the circulation by plasma esterases. Intravenous aspirin, in contrast, mainly undergoes plasma esterase-catalysed deacetylation. Six healthy male subjects were given 1 g aspirin orally and intravenously two weeks apart according to a cross-over randomized design. Whereas serum T×B2 generation reflecting platelet cyclo-oxygenase activity was suppressed by aspirin by both routes, urinary excretion of T×B2 and 6-keto-PGF1α was not affected by oral aspirin, but was partially though significantly reduced by the i.v. drug. Drug disposition seems therefore to be essential in determining the "biochemical selectivity" of aspirin as related to platelet and renal prostanoids generation.
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