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Caffeine - Essentials for anaesthesiologists: A narrative review.

Caffeine has a multitude of uses in anaesthesia, and numerous studies have evaluated its efficacy and usefulness in various aspects of anaesthesia and medical practice. Its various applications in anaesthesia include its role in awakening from anaesthesia, managing post-dural puncture headache, managing post-sedation paradoxical hyper-activity in children, post-operative bowel paralysis, and apnoea in paediatric populations, that is, apnoea in infancy, paediatric obstructive apnoea, and post-anaesthetic apnoea in pre-mature infants. Though the effects of caffeine on bronchial smooth muscle, neurological, and cardio-vascular systems are well known, the relatively little-known effects on the endocrine and gastro-intestinal (GI) system have been recently taking primacy for eliciting its therapeutic benefits. The literature shows encouraging evidence in favour of caffeine, but unambiguous evidence of caffeine benefits for patients is lacking and needs further investigation. In this narrative review of literature, we summarise the available literature to provide insights into the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical application of caffeine in modern anaesthetic practice, and evidence available in this field to date. An awareness of the various physiological effects, adverse effects, reported applications, and their evidence will widen the horizon for anaesthesiologists to increase its rational use and advance research in this field. Well-designed randomised controlled trials regarding the various outcomes related to caffeine use in anaesthesia should be planned to generate sound evidence and formulate recommendations to guide clinicians.

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