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Coffee & Health

Caffeine for prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting

R A Steinbrook et al, 2013
Journal of Anaesthesiology & Clinical Pharmacology, Volume 29
November 25, 2013


Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is common after ambulatory surgery performed under general anesthesia. Anecdotal evidence suggests that caffeine may be useful in preventing PONV.


The aim of the study was to determine efficacy of intravenous (IV) caffeine given prior to surgery is effective prophylaxis against PONV.

Settings and Design:

We conducted a prospective, randomized, double‑blind, placebo‑controlled study.

Subject and Methods:

Patients at moderate or high risk of PONV were randomized to receive IV caffeine (500 mg) or saline placebo during general anesthesia; all patients received dexamethasone and dolasetron. Statistical analysis: Statistical comparisons were tested using bivariable linear and logistic regression for each outcome and then adjusted for high/low risk.


Nausea in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) was more common in the caffeine (16 of 62 patients) than the placebo  group (seven of 69; P = 0.02). There were no significant differences in the use of rescue antiemetics in the PACU, in the incidence  of nausea or vomiting over 24 h postoperatively, nor in other outcomes (headache, fatigue, or overall satisfaction) either in the  PACU or at 24 h; time‑to‑discharge was similar for both groups.


Caffeine was not effective in the prevention of PONV or headache, and did not improve time‑to‑discharge or patient satisfaction.

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