Caffeinism

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Caffeinism
SynonymsCaffeine overdose
Coffee machine.svg
SpecialtyToxicology, psychiatry

Caffeinism is a condition of intoxication due to the abuse of caffeine. This intoxication covers a variety of unpleasant physical and mental symptoms associated with the consumption of excessive amounts of caffeine.[1]

Caffeine is considered as one of the most widely consumed drugs around the world. Around 80% of the world population consumes caffeine in one form or another.[2] It's extracted from coffee and tea, and is found in some of the most popular beverages in the world, cocoa, chocolate, and soft drinks, especially ‘‘cola’’ drinks, and is an important component of ‘‘energy drinks’’ and other dietary supplements.[1]

Caffeine is also an ingredient of several medications, many of them over-the-counter and prescription drugs. The consensus is to consider caffeine a drug with pharmacological effects acting throughout the body.

Signs and symptoms[edit]

Torso of a young man with overlaid text of main side-effects of caffeine overdose.
Primary symptoms of caffeine intoxication[3]

In moderate doses, caffeine it is used to reduce physical fatigue, to prevent drowsiness and sleep, and to maintain and restore mental alertness and wakefulness. However, at higher doses, these stimulatory effects can become excessive and lead to a wide range of unpleasant symptoms including and dysphoric physical and mental state that is labeled caffeinism and is also known colloquially as ‘‘coffee nerves’’ or ‘‘caffeine jitters.’’ This symptoms including nervousness, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, headaches, and palpitations after caffeine use.[4]

Caffeinism usually occurs when consumption of caffeine reaches 1–1.5 grams (0.035–0.053 oz) per day.[5]

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, caffeine overdose can result in a state of excessive stimulation of the central nervous system and the essential feature of Caffeine Intoxication is the recent consumption of caffeine. This diagnosis requires the presence of at least five signs or symptoms, from a list of 12, that develop during or shortly after caffeine use.[6] This syndrome regularly happens when a person ingested large amounts of caffeine from any source (e.g., more than 400–500 mg at a time).

The signs and symptoms are divided into one group that can appear after an intake of as little as 100 mg of caffeine (roughly the amount contained in a cup of brewed coffee) and another group of symptoms that appear at higher levels of intake (more than 1 g per day). Low-dose symptoms include

  1. restlessness,
  2. nervousness,
  3. excitement,
  4. insomnia,
  5. flushed face,
  6. diuresis (increased urination), and
  7. gastrointestinal disturbance.

Symptoms associated with high doses of caffeine include

  1. muscle twitching,
  2. rambling flow of thought and speech,
  3. tachycardia and cardiac arrhythmia,
  4. periods of inexhaustibility, and
  5. psychomotor agitation.[1]

The symptoms of caffeine intoxication are comparable to the symptoms of overdoses of other stimulants.[3] In cases of much larger overdoses, mania, depression, lapses in judgment, disorientation, disinhibition, delusions, hallucinations, or psychosis may occur.[7][8]

Death can occur when a person had a caffeine overdose.[9][10] The LD50 of caffeine in humans is dependent on individual sensitivity, but is estimated to be 150–200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass (75–100 cups of coffee for a 70 kilogram adult).[11] A number of fatalities have been caused by overdoses of readily available powdered caffeine supplements, for which the estimated lethal amount is less than a tablespoon.[12] The lethal dose is lower in individuals whose ability to metabolize caffeine is impaired due to genetics or chronic liver disease[13] A death was reported in a man with liver cirrhosis who overdosed on caffeinated mints.[14][15][16]

Treatment[edit]

Treatment of mild caffeine intoxication is directed toward symptom relief; severe intoxication may require peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, or hemofiltration.[3] Control of caffeine intake requires awareness of the caffeine content of caffeinated beverages, over-the-counter drugs, and other sources of caffeine in the diet. Such information is not easy to obtain. The content of brewed beverages such as coffee and tea varies greatly based on the method of preparation.[17]

There is no standard value for ‘‘a cup of coffee.’’ The caffeine content of cola drinks and most energy drinks can be difficult to determine, because in many cases the labels do not indicate the dose per serving. Caffeine doses in these beverages range from 20 to 30 mg in some soft drinks, up to 350 mg or more in some energy drinks. Although some Internet web sites report caffeine content for beverages, official lists are not available and the number of brands continually grows.[1]

To attempt to abruptly quitting all consumption of caffeine-containing products from the diet is not recommended, because the person could suffer from the resulting symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, including headache, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, can be so unpleasant that this approach probably will fail. It is recommended that the person performs a gradual reductions in caffeine use to avoid withdrawal.[1][17]

Epidemiology[edit]

Little is known about the prevalence of caffeinism in the general population. Although most people are familiar with the disorder, it probably remains underdiagnosed, because patients are rarely questioned about the use of caffeine.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Stolerman, Ian P. (2010). Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology (Online-Ausg. ed.). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 261–264. ISBN 978-3-540-68706-1.
  2. ^ a b Iancu, I; Strous, RD (February 2006). "Caffeine intoxication: history, clinical features, diagnosis and treatment". Harefuah. 145 (2): 147–51, 163–4.
  3. ^ a b c "Caffeine (Systemic)". MedlinePlus. 25 May 2000. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  4. ^ Iancu I, Olmer A, Strous RD (2007). "Caffeinism: History, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment". In Smith BD, Gupta U, Gupta BS. Caffeine and Activation Theory: Effects on Health and Behavior. CRC Press. pp. 331–344. ISBN 978-0-8493-7102-8. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  5. ^ Winston AP, Hardwick E, Jaberi N (2005). "Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine". Advances in Psychiatric Treatment. 11 (6): 432–439. doi:10.1192/apt.11.6.432. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  6. ^ American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.). American Psychiatric Association. ISBN 978-0-89042-062-1.
  7. ^ "Caffeine overdose". MedlinePlus. 4 April 2006. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  8. ^ Verkhratsky A (January 2005). "Physiology and pathophysiology of the calcium store in the endoplasmic reticulum of neurons". Physiological Reviews. 85 (1): 201–79. doi:10.1152/physrev.00004.2004. PMID 15618481.
  9. ^ Holmgren P, Nordén-Pettersson L, Ahlner J (January 2004). "Caffeine fatalities – four case reports". Forensic Science International. 139 (1): 71–3. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2003.09.019. PMID 14687776.
  10. ^ "FDA Consumer Advice on Powdered Pure Caffeine". FDA. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  11. ^ Peters JM (1967). "Factors Affecting Caffeine Toxicity: A Review of the Literature". The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and the Journal of New Drugs. 7 (3): 131–141. doi:10.1002/j.1552-4604.1967.tb00034.x. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012.
  12. ^ Murray Carpenter. "Caffeine powder poses deadly risks". New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  13. ^ Rodopoulos N, Wisén O, Norman A (May 1995). "Caffeine metabolism in patients with chronic liver disease". Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation. 55 (3): 229–42. doi:10.3109/00365519509089618. PMID 7638557.
  14. ^ Cheston P, Smith L (11 October 2013). "Man died after overdosing on caffeine mints". The Independent. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  15. ^ Prynne M (11 October 2013). "Warning over caffeine sweets after father dies from overdose". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  16. ^ Fricker M (12 October 2013). "John Jackson: Family of dad who died from caffeine overdose after eating MINTS want them removed from sale". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  17. ^ a b Haenel, H. (1992). "J. E. James: Caffeine and Health. 432 Seiten. Academic Press, London, San Diego, New York u. a. Preis: 29,50 £; 59,95 $". Food/Nahrung. 36 (4): 431. doi:10.1002/food.19920360453.

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