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Q:

Why might a buffer be needed for aspirin?

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Aspirin is also called acetylsalicylic acid and is a derivative of salicylic acid and decomposes to form salicylic acid and acetic acid. The pH of the stomach is 2 = very strongly (hydrochloric acid) acidic. Adding more acid only increases the side effect of gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers. Using a buffer (something alkaline or basic such as bicarbonate) will increase the pH so the stomach is not so acidic. more
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