Caffeine increases the analgesic power of morphine and other strong opiates!
Caffeine’s psychological and physiological effects including elevated mood, favorable cardiovascular effects, and increased mental acuity, have been well documented. However, until recently, the effects of caffeine on severe, chronic pain had not been recognized.
In findings published in the Journal of Pain Research, Ryan Scott, MPH, CCRP, clinical research projector manager at the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan and his colleagues found that among patients with fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and memory problems those who consumed caffeine together with narcotic analgesics had significantly less pain severity, lower levels of depression, and better physical function than patients who did not consume caffeine.
It has long been known that caffeine alone is a strong pain-killer, helping to dramatically mitigate such things as muscle aches and tooth aches. In fact, caffeine used to be frequently added to aspirin. Unfortunately, the FDA stepped has stupidly refused to allow it to be added to Advil or Tylenol, which are largely displaced aspirin as analgesics.
However, researchers were surprised when they examined the role of caffeine in treating the severe, chronic pain of fibromyalgia: They discovered that, amazingly, when combined with opioids, high daily caffeine use dramatically reduced pain more than using opioids alone. This effect is dose dependent, which means that, within moderate limits, the more caffeine used, the more pain relief is achieved.
“Another interesting consideration,” added Dr. Goldenberg, one of the researchers in the study, “is whether caffeine might even help to get patients off opioids.”