Know the basics
What is caffeine used for?
Caffeine is commonly indicated in
- Restoring mental alertness or wakefulness during fatigue or drowsiness.
- Apnoea of prematurity.
Caffeine citrate is available by prescription only (injection). It is used for short-term treatment of neonatal apnea (breathing problems).
Caffeine may also be used for other conditions as determined by your health care provider.
How should I take caffeine?
Follow exactly directions of your health care provider. If the caffeine is non-prescription, check the label on the bottle for the exact dosing instructions.
Caffeine may be taken orally with or without food. If caffeine upsets your stomach, take it with food.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use caffeine.
How do I store caffeine?
Caffeine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store caffeine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of caffeine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush caffeine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using caffeine?
Before taking caffeine, tell your doctor, if you:
- Are allergic to any ingredient in caffeine or caffeine products.
- Are taking any prescription or non-prescription medicine, or herbal or dietary supplement.
- Have anxiety, agitation or nervousness, liver or stomach (ulcer) problems, insomnia (trouble sleeping), seizures (convulsions), or heart disease, especially any abnormal heart rhythms or high blood pressure.
- Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
Is it safe to take caffeine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using caffeine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking caffeine. Caffeine is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk,
- B=No risk in some studies,
- C=There may be some risk,
- D=Positive evidence of risk,
Know the side effects
What are the side effects of caffeine?
Get emergency call if you have serious allergic reactions (difficult breathing, chest tightness, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue, rash, hives, or itching), diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heart rate or palpitations, increased blood pressure, chest pain.
Other common side effects of Caffeine contain: difficulty sleeping (insomnia), nervousness or anxiety, irritability, nausea, headache.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. Call your health care provider for medical advice about side effects
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Know the interactions
What drugs may interact with caffeine?
Caffeine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
- Quinolones (for example., ciprofloxacin);
- Ephedra or Guarana;
- Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs);
- Fluconazole (Diflucan);
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs);
- Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others;
- Mexiletine (Mexitil);
- Terbinafine (Lamisil);
- Adenosine (Adenocard);
- Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics) ;
- Cimetidine (Tagamet);
- Clozapine (Clozaril;
- Dipyridamole (Persantine);
- Disulfiram (Antabuse);
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox);
- Medications for depression (MAOIs);
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) ;
- Pentobarbital (Nembutal);
- Phenylpropanolamine ;
- Riluzole (Rilutek) ;
- Verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);
Does food or alcohol interact with caffeine?
Caffeine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with caffeine?
Caffeine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
- Allergies to caffeine, other medicines, foods, or other substances.
- Taking any prescription or non-prescription medicine, or herbal or dietary supplement.
- Anxiety, agitation or nervousness, liver or stomach (ulcer) problems, insomnia (trouble sleeping), seizures (convulsions), or heart disease, especially any abnormal heart rhythms or high blood pressure.
- Pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast-feeding.
Understand the dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using caffeine.
What is the dose of caffeine for an adult?
- Loading Dose: 2ml/kg given intravenously within 4 hours. After 4 hours, a second loading dose may be given if patient hasn’t had clinical response. If there is no clinical response to the second loading dose, caffeine blood levels should be measured.
- Maintenance Dose: 0.5-1ml/kg, by intravenous infusion beginning 24 hours after the loading dose(s).. In some cases maintenance doses higher than 10mg/kg/day (expressed as caffeine citrate) may be required to achieve maximal efficacy (eg in continuing apnoeic episodes where plasma levels indicate the dose may be safely increased)
What is the dose of caffeine for a child?
- Loading Dose: 2ml/kg given intravenously within 4 hours.After 4 hours, a second loading dose may be given if patient hasn’t had clinical response. If there is no clinical response to the second loading dose, caffeine blood levels should be measured.
- Maintenance Dose: 0.5-1ml/kg, by intravenous infusion beginning 24 hours after the loading dose(s).. In some cases maintenance doses higher than 10mg/kg/day (expressed as caffeine citrate) may be required to achieve maximal efficacy (eg in continuing apnoeic episodes where plasma levels indicate the dose may be safely increased).
Treatment should be continued until the child has reached a gestational age of 37 weeks, by which time apnoea of prematurity usually resolves spontaneously.
How is caffeine available?
Caffeine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths: solution 10 mg/dL for injection.
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of caffeine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017