History of NSAID Use in the Treatment of Headaches Pre and Post-industrial Revolution in the United States: the Rise and Fall of Antipyrine, Salicylic Acid, and Acetanilide

  • Sidrah MahmudEmail author
  • Noah Rosen
Hot Topics in Pain and Headache (N. Rosen, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hot Topics in Pain and Headache


Purpose of Review

Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) constitute a vital class of medications in today’s headache regimen. However, up until the nineteenth century, they were largely unknown to most of the medical community. The purpose of this review is to explore the evolution of NSAIDs in the treatment of headaches spurred on by the Industrial Revolution in the USA.

Recent Findings

The currently available data on the impact of NSAIDs reflects their significant contribution to headache treatment.


The emergence of mass production spurred on by the Industrial Revolution, lead to widespread use of antipyrine, salicylic acid, and acetanilide. However, along with it came the growing awareness of consumer safety, leading to their ultimate downfall, and the subsequent birth of the Food and Drug Act.


Headache NSAID History Antipyrine Salicylic acid Acetanilide Post-Industrial Revolution 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyNorthwell Health Hofstra School of MedicineManhassetUSA

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