INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 3, 2015) – A serious warning from doctors about a common drug that many people consume every day, but it is no longer coming from a soda, coffee, or even energy drinks. It is powdered caffeine that is so potent, just a teaspoon of it can be equal to 28 cups of coffee.
“It affects the entire body, so beyond the heart, you can have seizures, abdominal pain, vomiting, agitation, and anxiety,” said ER Physician Ryan Venis.
The Food and Drug Administration is now getting involved, putting five distributors of pure powdered caffeine on notice that their products are potentially dangerous. The warning follows the deaths of two healthy young men in 2014, who doctors say died after using the powerful stimulant.
“It is easily obtainable, so parents really need to be on the lookout for what their kids are taking,” said Dr. Venis.
A warning for parents too, young athletes could be taking a scoop of powdered caffeine hoping it will improve their speed and agility.
“There is going to be a lot of peer pressure for student athletes to improve themselves and if they think this is the way to do it, there is going to be a problem,” said Dr. Venis.
Doctors say they do not recommend having more than three cups of coffee a day. Consume too much caffeine and you can end up with a rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures or even death.
“Especially at those levels you start to see the same effects as you would with cocaine or meth,” said Dr. Venis.