US warns against 'pure caffeine' after teen dies (Update)

US regulators on Friday warned against ingesting pure powdered caffeine, which is being sold in bulk over the Internet and is known to have killed at least one teenager.

"These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine. A single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee," the Food and Drug Administration said.

The FDA advised consumers "to avoid powdered pure caffeine" and warned parents that teenagers and young adults may be drawn to it for its perceived benefits.

"Pure caffeine is a powerful stimulant and very small amounts may cause accidental overdose," the FDA statement said.

Symptoms of overdose may include rapid heartbeat, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, stupor and disorientation.

"It is nearly impossible to accurately measure powdered pure caffeine with common kitchen measuring tools and you can easily consume a lethal amount," the FDA added.

US media reported earlier this month that an 18-year-old from Ohio died due to a caffeine overdose. Several bags of the powder were found in his home.

Consumer groups said regulators must take more action against the products.

"The overuse and misuse of caffeine in the food supply is creating a wild-west marketplace, and it's about time the sheriff noticed and did something," said the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Related Stories

Energy drinks raise new questions about caffeine's safety

date Jun 24, 2014

Caffeine, which was extensively researched for possible links to birth defects in animals and cardiovascular disease in humans over 30 years ago and then exonerated, has become the focus of renewed concerns as caffeine-containing ...

Caffeine powder is recalled

date May 21, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Spectrum Laboratory Products Inc. is recalling its Caffeine Citrated Powder due to potential potency issues.

Recommended for you

Physician/Pharmacist model can improve mean BP

date Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—A physician/pharmacist collaborative model can improve mean blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Innovative prototype presented for post-ICU patients

date Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—A collaborative care model, the Critical Care Recovery Center (CCRC), represents an innovative prototype aimed to improve the quality of life of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors, according ...

Clues to a city's health may be found in its sewage

date Mar 27, 2015

Research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee suggests that sampling a city's sewage can tell scientists a great deal about its residents – and may someday lead to improvements in public health.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.