Salicylates

Salicylates is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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Washington Manual

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General Principles

  • Salicylate toxicity may result from acute or chronic ingestion of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin is a generic name in the United States, but a brand name in the rest of the world). Toxicity is usually mild after acute ingestions of <150 mg/kg, moderate after ingestions of 150–300 mg/kg, and generally severe with overdoses of 300–500 mg/kg.
  • Toxicity from chronic ingestion is typically due to intake of >100 mg/kg/d over a period of several days and usually occurs in elderly patients with chronic underlying illness. Diagnosis is often delayed in this group of patients, and mortality is approximately 25%. Significant toxicity due to chronic ingestion may occur with blood concentrations lower than those associated with acute ingestions.
  • Topical preparations containing methyl salicylate or oil of wintergreen can cause toxicity with excessive topical use or if ingested.

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