Salicylates increase oxygen consumption and CO2 production (especially in skeletal muscle) at full therapeutic doses; these effects are a result of uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation. The increased production of CO2 stimulates respiration (mainly by an increase in depth of respiration with only a slight increase in rate). The increased alveolar ventilation balances the increased CO2 production, and thus plasma CO2 tension (Pco2) does not change or may decrease slightly.
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