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Caffeine as an analgesic adjuvant

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image of Inflammopharmacology

Caffeine is a ubiquitous substance. From a historical standpoint, caffeine is one of the oldest substances consumed by man in the form of coffee beans, teas, guanara beans and mate. Caffeine is commonly found in many analgesic products as an adjuvant. Caffeine is almost completely absorbed in the GI tract. Since caffeine is lipid soluble, it is rapidly absorbed into the brain where it becomes active within 6-8 min. Caffeine has some analgesic properties itself and because of its rapid absorption and distribution, is useful as an adjuvant in combination analgesic medications. Because of the wide availability in beverages and medications, concerns regarding overuse resulting in caffeinism, dependence, habituation and addiction have been raised. Extensive review of the literature reveals that occurrence of these conditions resulting from the use of caffeine is minimal and, therefore, caffeine is effective and safe as an analgesic adjuvant.

Affiliations: 1: San Francisco Clinical Research Center, 909 Hyde Street, Suite 322, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA


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