Which clinical history findings are characteristic of caffeine toxicity?

Updated: Oct 24, 2020
  • Author: David Yew, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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The patient and family members or friends may be able to give a history of recent caffeine ingestion (eg, ingestion of alertness-promoting OTC medications, caffeinated beverages, or diet medications) or a history of recent behavior compatible with such use (eg, the patient was trying to lose weight or taking stimulants to aid in working or studying). In an acute overdose, pill bottles found at the scene may provide a clue to what the patient ingested.

When ingested chronically in excessive amounts, caffeine produces a specific toxidrome (caffeinism), which consists of primarily central nervous system (CNS), cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal (GI) hyperstimulation.

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