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A buffering agent, such as that contained in buffered aspirin, is used to preserve the pH of the aspirin as it is introduced to the patient's stomach, which is very acidic. The aspirin is not absorbed very well in the stomach, so the buffering agent's primary concern is preserving the pH of the aspirin until it is passed into the small intestine, where most absorption will take place. The buffering agent in buffered aspirin is MgO, magnesium oxide. A buffering agent can be a weak acid or base that would comprise the makeup of a buffer solution.
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