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To find out how aspirin works fastest, researchers in Texas asked 12 volunteers to take a standard 325-mg dose of aspirin in three different ways: by swallowing a tablet with 4 ounces of water, by chewing the tablet for 30 seconds before swallowing it, or by drinking 4 ounces of water with Alka-Seltzer. Each subject tried all three methods on an empty stomach on different days. The scientists monitored blood levels of aspirin and its active ingredient, salicylate, at frequent intervals, and they also measured thromboxane B2 (TxB2), an indicator of platelet activation that drops as platelets are inhibited.