Ritalin Could Help Patients Recover From Anesthesia

ADHD drug Ritalin may hasten recovery from general anesthesia, according to a study published in Anesthesiology and reported in The Atlantic.

In a series of lab experiments, researchers administered Ritalin or saline to rats that had previously received isoflurane, a general anesthetic. According to the report, the rats that received Ritalin recovered much faster than those than receiving saline and demonstrated heightened signs of arousal, such as movement, even when continuing to receive isoflurane at a dose that should have maintained unconsciousness.

The authors said more precise methods are needed to control the arousal process, but the study suggests Ritalin could assist patients in waking up from coma. The ability to safety reduce time spent in the OR could lead to significant health savings as well.

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