Caffeine Overdose - Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman, MD
Last Updated on Dec 10, 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consider in case of serious caffeine overdose?

You should visit the Emergency Department of the nearest hospital, where you will be referred to a specialist doctor such as a Toxicologist.

2. What is the effect of coffee on the body?

Coffee exerts its action of stimulating the central nervous system (CNS) by caffeine. Following consumption of coffee, the brain becomes stimulated. This results in increased alertness, more wakefulness, and less tiredness.

3. How do you get rid of excess caffeine from your body?

The best way to get rid of caffeine from the body is to drink plenty of water. As a general rule-of-thumb, drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee (~100 mg of caffeine) consumed. Water helps to flush-out caffeine from the system, thereby reducing the symptoms of caffeine overdose. 

4. Is there a risk of death from too much caffeine?

Death from convulsions is possible by consumption of too much caffeine. However, this cannot occur by consuming coffee alone, as more than 100 cups would need to be consumed within a span of one day. Under such circumstances, the excessive caffeine would be excreted through the urine or due to vomiting and diarrhea. 

5. Should I be cautious about drinking too much coffee?

This depends on several factors such as age, sex, pregnancy, and health status. Coffee intake should be restricted if you are pregnant, as caffeine can cross the placenta and increase the baby’s heart rate, as well as interfere with metabolism. If you have a health problem, and since caffeine can interfere with certain drugs, you should consult your doctor about caffeine intake. 

6. Can caffeine be considered a poison?

Caffeine is classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). A toxic dose must be over 10 g per day for an adult, in order to be considered as a poison.

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