Caffeine a better painkiller, scientists suggest

  • Posted at: 17 May, 2017, in Health

ISLAMABAD: A healthy amount of daily caffeine could actually be also doing a job as a pain reliever, according to scientists.
A new study has found that caffeine, the active ingredient in the morning brew, is more effective at treating pains than widely available painkillers like ibuprofen, and even morphine, reported BBC health.However, it is worth noting that caffeine was only effective on treating pain combined with sleep deprivation.Sleep deprivation is known to cause increased sensitivity to pain, Dr Chloe Alexandre, sleep physiologist, explained: “We found that five consecutive days of moderate sleep deprivation can significantly exacerbate pain sensitivity over time in otherwise healthy mice.”But when it comes to treating sleep related pain, even heavy-duty painkillers like morphine were found to be relatively ineffective.Whereas caffeine was able to overcome this by prompting the release of the pleasure chemical, dopamine, in the human brain.Dr Kiran Maski, a specialist in sleep disorders, said: “Many patients with chronic pain suffer from poor sleep and daytime fatigue, and some pain medications themselves can contribute to these co-morbidities.The researchers conclude that rather than just taking painkillers, patients with chronic pain might benefit from better sleep habits or sleep-promoting medications at night.This would need to be coupled with daytime alertness-promoting agents (such as coffee) to try to break the pain cycle.Such drugs could help disrupt the chronic pain cycle, in which pain disrupts sleep, which then promotes pain, which further disrupts sleep. –APP


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