Caffeine may help patients wake up more quickly after general anesthesia, an animal study suggests.

Adult rats were given a 3 percent concentration of a general anesthetic for one hour to simulate effects of a brief surgical procedure. During the last 10 minutes of anesthetic exposure, they received either an injection of either caffeine or a salt solution.

The experiment was repeated three times with increasingly higher amounts of caffeine. Each time, rats in the caffeine group woke faster than the others. At the highest dose, the rats in the caffeine group woke up 55 percent sooner than the control group.

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