Caffeine Intoxication and Addiction

Holly Pohler


Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2010;6(1):49-52. 

In This Article

Differential Diagnosis

The differential diagnosis for caffeine intoxication includes the following: acute respiratory distress syndrome, hyperthyroidism, anxiety disorder, sleep disorder, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse.

Diagnostic criteria for caffeine intoxication can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) and the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).[12,13] A patient must have a recent consumption of caffeine usually in excess of 250 mg and at least 5 of the following signs: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, diuresis, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia, and periods of inexhaustibility and/or psychomotor agitation. These symptoms cannot be due to any physical or mental disorder.


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