Caffeine is a substance that exists naturally in certain plants. It can also be produced synthetically and used as an additive in food products. It is a central nervous system stimulant and a diuretic, which means it increases urination.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
- Certain soft drinks (such as Pepsi, Coke, Mountain Dew)
- Certain teas
- Chocolate, including hot chocolate drinks
- Over-the-counter stimulants that help you stay awake such as NoDoz, Vivarin, Caffedrine, and others
Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.
Symptoms in adults may include:
- Changes in alertness
Increased thirst Irregular heartbeat Muscle twitching
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sleeping trouble
Urination – increased
Symptoms in babies may include:
Muscles are very tense, then very relaxed
Rapid, deep breathing
Do NOT make the person throw up unless told to do so poison control or a doctor.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- Patient’s age, weight, and condition
- Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
Poison Control, or a local emergency number
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
What to expect at the emergency room
The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The patient may receive:
- Activated charcoal
- Breathing support
- Methods to correct abnormal heartbeats
- Tube through the nose into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
In severe cases, death may result from convulsions or an irregular heartbeat.