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Caffeine Accelerates Emergence From Anesthesia

TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 -- Caffeine accelerates emergence from anesthesia, even at high levels of anesthesia, and operates by elevating intracellular cAMP (cAMPi) and blocking adenosine receptors, according to an experimental study published online recently in the Journal of Neurophysiology.

Robert Fong, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Chicago, and colleagues measured the emergence time from anesthesia in adult rats exposed to 3 percent isoflurane for 60 minutes.

The researchers found that even at the high level of anesthetic employed, caffeine dramatically accelerated emergence from anesthesia. The actions of caffeine included blockage of adenosine receptors; recovery from anesthesia was accelerated by the selective A2a receptor antagonist preladenant or the [cAMP]i-elevating drug forskolin. Use of preladenant and forskolin together had an additive effect on anesthesia recovery time. Furthermore, preladenant and forskolin in combination were about as effective as caffeine, suggesting that A2A receptor blockade and [cAMP]i elevation played a role in the ability of caffeine to accelerate emergence from anesthesia.

"These results suggest that caffeine might allow for rapid and uniform emergence from general anesthesia in humans at all anesthetic concentrations and that both the elevation of [cAMP]i and adenosine receptor blockade play a role in this response," the authors write.

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Posted: August 2017

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