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Effects of upper respiratory tract illnesses, ibuprofen and caffeine on reaction time and alertness

Smith, Andrew Paul ORCID: and Nutt, David J. 2014. Effects of upper respiratory tract illnesses, ibuprofen and caffeine on reaction time and alertness. Psychopharmacology 231 (9) , pp. 1963-1974. 10.1007/s00213-013-3339-7

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Rationale: Compared with healthy individuals, those with upper respiratory tract illnesses (URTIs) report reduced alertness and have slower reaction times. It is important to evaluate medication that can remove this behavioural malaise. Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of a combination of ibuprofen plus caffeine with ibuprofen and caffeine alone, and placebo on malaise associated with URTIs, as measured by psychomotor performance and mood testing. Methods: Volunteers were randomly assigned to one of four medication conditions as follows: 200 mg ibuprofen and 100 mg caffeine; 200 mg ibuprofen; 100 mg caffeine; placebo. A single oral dose was given and testing followed for 3 h. Efficacy variables were based on the volunteers' performance, measured by psychomotor performance and mood. Results: The pre-drug results confirmed that those with an URTI had a more negative mood and impaired performance. Results from the simple reaction time task, at both 55- and 110-min post-dosing, showed that a single-dose of caffeinated products (I200/C100 and CAF100) led to significantly faster reaction times than IBU200 and placebo. These effects were generally confirmed with the other performance tasks. Subjective measures showed that the combination of ibuprofen and caffeine was superior to the other conditions. There were no serious adverse events reported, and study medication was well tolerated. Conclusions: The results from the post-drug assessments suggest that a combination of ibuprofen and caffeine was the optimum treatment for malaise associated with URTIs in that it had significant effects on objective performance and subjective measures.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Upper respiratory tract illness; Ibuprofen; Caffeine; Reaction time; Alertness
Additional Information: Published online before print November 29, 2013
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0033-3158
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:33

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