How are caffeine withdrawal symptoms relieved?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, CPE, MHCM, FAAPL  more...
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Caffeine withdrawal symptoms disappear shortly after ingestion of caffeine. This effect is linked strongly to the psychological satisfaction related to the ingestion of caffeine, especially for the first cup of the day. The occurrence of headaches after substitution of decaffeinated coffee predicts subsequent caffeine self-administration. Caffeine content influences coffee consumption, and the beneficial effects of caffeine consumption on mood or alertness seem to encourage consumption of coffee or caffeine-containing beverages.

Heavy consumers of coffee show a preference for caffeine-containing coffee, whereas those who typically drink decaffeinated coffee generally choose either decaffeinated or caffeine-containing coffee. When subjects are categorized as caffeine choosers or nonchoosers, caffeine the former tend to report both positive subjective effects of caffeine (stimulant and positive effects on mood and vigilance) and negative subjective effects of placebo (headache and fatigue), whereas the latter tend to report negative effects of caffeine (anxiety and dysphoria).

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