Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.--
|Caffedrine Caplets 1
|Dexitac Stay Alert Stimulant 1
|Keep Alert 1
|Maximum Strength SnapBack Stimulant Powders 1
|NoDoz Maximum Strength Caplets 1
|Quick Pep 1
|Ultra Pep-Back 1
|Respiratory stimulant adjunct--Caffeine; Caffeine, Citrated
|Stimulant, central nervous system--Caffeine; Caffeine and
Sodium Benzoate; Caffeine, Citrated|
Caffeine (KAF-feen) belongs to the group of medicines called central
nervous system (CNS) stimulants. It is used to help restore mental
alertness when unusual tiredness or weakness or drowsiness occurs.
Caffeine's use as an alertness aid should be only occasional. It is not
intended to replace sleep and should not be used regularly for this
Caffeine is also used in combination with ergotamine (for treatment
of migraine and cluster headaches) or with certain pain relievers, such
as aspirin or aspirin and acetaminophen. When used in this way, caffeine
may increase the effectiveness of the other medicines. Caffeine is
sometimes used in combination with an antihistamine to overcome the
drowsiness caused by the antihistamine.
Citrated caffeine is used to treat breathing problems in premature
Caffeine may also be used for other conditions as determined by your
Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, soft drinks, cocoa, chocolate,
and kola nuts.
Caffeine powder and tablets are available without a prescription;
however, your health care professional may have special instructions on
its proper use. Citrated caffeine and caffeine and sodium benzoate are
to be administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor.
Caffeine is available in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
If you are taking this medicine without a prescription, carefully
read and follow any precautions on the label. For caffeine, the
following should be considered:
Allergies--Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual
or allergic reactions to aminophylline, caffeine, dyphylline,
oxtriphylline, theobromine (also found in cocoa or chocolate), or
theophylline. Also tell your health care professional if you are
allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy--Studies in humans have shown that caffeine may
cause miscarriage or may slow the growth of a developing fetus when
given in doses greater than 300 mg (an amount equal to three cups of
coffee) a day. In addition, use of large amounts of caffeine by the
mother during pregnancy may cause problems with the heart rhythm of the
fetus. Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women consume less
than 300 mg of caffeine a day. Studies in animals have shown that
caffeine causes birth defects when given in very large doses (amounts
equal to 12 to 24 cups of coffee a day) and problems with bone growth
when given in smaller doses.
Breast-feeding--Caffeine passes into breast milk in small
amounts and may build up in the nursing baby. Studies have shown that
babies may appear jittery and have trouble in sleeping when their
mothers drink large amounts of caffeine-containing beverages.
Children--With the exception of infants, there is no specific
information comparing use of caffeine in children with use in other age
groups. However, this medicine is not expected to cause different side
effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
Older adults--Many medicines have not been studied
specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether
they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they
cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no
specific information comparing use of caffeine in the elderly with use
in other age groups.
Other medicines--Although certain medicines should not be used
together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used
together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor
may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When
you are taking caffeine, it is especially important that your health
care professional know if you are taking any of the following:
|Amantadine (e.g., Symmetrel) or |
|Amphetamines (e.g., Desoxyn, Dexedrine) or
|Appetite suppressants (diet pills) or |
|Bupropion (e.g., Wellbutrin) or |
|Chlophedianol (e.g., Ulone) or |
|Cocaine or |
|Fluoxetine (e.g., Prozac) or |
|Medicine for asthma or other breathing problems or
|Medicine for colds, sinus problems, hay fever or other allergies
(including nose drops or sprays) or |
|Methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin) or |
|Nabilone (e.g., Cesamet) or |
|Other medicines or beverages containing caffeine or
|Paroxetine (e.g., Paxil) or |
|Pemoline (e.g., Cylert) or |
|Sertraline (e.g., Zoloft)--Using these medicines with caffeine may
increase the CNS-stimulant effects, such as nervousness,
irritability, or trouble in sleeping, or possibly cause convulsions
(seizures) or changes in the rhythm of your heart|
|Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (furazolidone [e.g., Furoxone],
isocarboxazid [e.g., Marplan], phenelzine [e.g., Nardil],
procarbazine [e.g., Matulane], selegiline [e.g., Eldepryl],
tranylcypromine [e.g., Parnate])--Taking large amounts of caffeine
while you are taking or within 2 weeks of taking MAO inhibitors may
cause extremely high blood pressure or dangerous changes in the
rhythm of your heart; taking small amounts of caffeine may cause
mild high blood pressure and fast heartbeat|
Other medical problems--The presence of other medical problems
may affect the use of caffeine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you
have any other medical problems, especially:
|Agoraphobia (fear of being in open places) or
|Anxiety or |
|Convulsions (seizures) (in newborn babies) or
|Heart disease, severe or |
|High blood pressure or |
|Panic attacks or |
|Trouble in sleeping--Caffeine may make the condition worse|
|Liver disease--Higher blood levels of caffeine may result,
increasing the chance of side effects|
Proper Use of This Medicine
Take caffeine in powder or tablet form only as directed . Do
not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a
longer time than directed. Taking too much of this medicine may increase
the chance of side effects. It may also become habit-forming.
For patients taking the powder form of this medicine: Each
packet contains one dose of medicine. The contents of the packet may be
stirred into water or other liquid and drunk. Or, the powder may be
placed on the tongue and washed down with water or other liquid drink.
For patients taking the oral solution form of this medicine:
Throw away any unused portion of the medicine left in the single-use
vial (bottle). Follow the manufacturer's instruction for use.
If you think this medicine is not working properly after you have
taken it for a long time, do not increase the dose . To do so may
increase the chance of side effects.
Dosing--The dose of caffeine will be different for different
patients. Follow the directions on the label .
|For unusual tiredness or weakness, or drowsiness:
|For oral dosage form (powder):
|Adults and children 12 years of age and older--The usual
dose is 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine (1 packet) repeated
no sooner than every three or four hours. You should not
take more than 1600 mg in twenty-four hours. |
|Children up to 12 years of age--Use is not recommended.|
|For oral dosage form (tablets):
|Adults and children 12 years of age and older--The usual
dose is 100 to 200 mg of caffeine repeated no sooner than
every three or four hours. You should not take more than
1000 mg in twenty-four hours. |
|Children up to 12 years of age--Use is not recommended.|
|For breathing problems in premature babies:
|For oral dosage form (oral solution):
|Newborn babies--At first, the dose is 20 mg (1 milliliter
[mL]) per kilogram (kg) (9.1 mg per pound) of body weight
given one time. Then, the dose is 5 mg (0.25 mL) per kg (2.3
mg per pound) of body weight given once a day.|
Storage--To store this medicine:
|Keep out of the reach of children. |
|Store away from heat and direct light. |
|Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other
damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
|Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be
sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.|
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Caffeine powder and tablets are for occasional use only. They are
not intended to replace sleep and should not be used regularly for this
purpose. If unusual tiredness or weakness or drowsiness continues or
returns often, check with your doctor .
Before you have any medical tests, tell the doctor in charge that you
are taking this medicine. The results of some tests on the heart may be
affected by this medicine.
The recommended dose of this medicine contains about the same amount
of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Do not drink large amounts of
caffeine-containing coffee, tea, or soft drinks while you are taking
this medicine. Also, do not take large amounts of other medicines that
contain caffeine. To do so may cause unwanted effects.
The amount of caffeine in some common foods and beverages is as
|Coffee, brewed--40 to 180 milligrams (mg) per cup.
|Coffee, instant--30 to 120 mg per cup. |
|Coffee, decaffeinated--3 to 5 mg per cup.
|Tea, brewed American--20 to 90 mg per cup.
|Tea, brewed imported--25 to 110 mg per cup.
|Tea, instant--28 mg per cup. |
|Tea, canned iced--22 to 36 mg per 12 ounces.
|Cola and other soft drinks, caffeine-containing--36 to 90 mg per
12 ounces. |
|Cola and other soft drinks, decaffeinated--0 mg per 12 ounces.
|Cocoa--4 mg per cup. |
|Chocolate, milk--3 to 6 mg per ounce. |
|Chocolate, bittersweet--25 mg per ounce.|
Caffeine may cause nervousness or irritability, trouble in
sleeping, dizziness, or a fast or pounding heartbeat. If these effects
occur, discontinue the use of caffeine-containing beverages and
medicines, and do not eat large amounts of chocolate-containing products
To prevent trouble in sleeping, do not take caffeine-containing
beverages or medicines too close to bedtime.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted
effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, they may be
more likely to occur if caffeine is taken in large doses or more often
than recommended. If they do occur, they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following
side effects occur:
Diarrhea; dizziness; fast heartbeat; hyperglycemia, including
blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, flushed dry skin, fruit-like
breath odor, increased urination, ketones in urine, loss of
appetite, nausea, stomachache, tiredness, troubled breathing,
unusual thirst, or vomiting (in newborn babies); hypoglycemia,
including anxious feeling, blurred vision, cold sweats, confusion,
cool pale skin, drowsiness, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat,
nausea, nervousness, restless sleep, shakiness, or unusual tiredness
or weakness (in newborn babies); irritability, nervousness, or
severe jitters (in newborn babies); nausea (severe); tremors;
trouble in sleeping; vomiting
Abdominal or stomach bloating; dehydration; diarrhea (bloody);
unusual tiredness or weakness
Symptoms of overdose
Abdominal or stomach pain; agitation, anxiety, excitement, or
restlessness; confusion or delirium; convulsions (seizures)--in
acute overdose; dehydration; faster breathing rate; fast or
irregular heartbeat; fever; frequent urination; headache; increased
sensitivity to touch or pain; irritability; muscle trembling or
twitching; nausea and vomiting, sometimes with blood; overextending
the body with head and heels bent backward and body bowed forward;
painful, swollen abdomen or vomiting (in newborn babies); ringing or
other sounds in ears; seeing flashes of “zig-zag” lights;
trouble in sleeping; whole-body tremors (in newborn babies)
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical
attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body
adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the
following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Nausea (mild); nervousness or jitters (mild)
After you stop using this medicine, your body may need time to
adjust. The length of time this takes depends on the amount of medicine
you were using and how long you used it. During this time, check with
your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects:
Anxiety; dizziness; headache; irritability; muscle tension;
nausea; nervousness; stuffy nose; unusual tiredness
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients.
If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use,
experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems.
Although these uses are not included in product labeling, caffeine is
used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
|Postoperative infant apnea (breathing problems after surgery in
young babies) |
|Psychiatric disorders requiring electroconvulsive or shock therapy
Other than the above information, there is no additional information
relating to proper use, precautions, or side effects for these uses.