The FDA is warning about pure powdered caffeine being marketed directly to consumers, and recommends avoiding these products. In particular, FDA is concerned about pure powdered caffeine sold in bulk bags over the internet.
The FDA is aware of at least two deaths of young men who used these products.
These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine. A single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 28 cups of coffee.
Pure caffeine is a powerful stimulant and very small amounts may cause accidental overdose. Parents should be aware that these products may be attractive to young people.
Symptoms of caffeine overdose can include rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures and death. Vomiting, diarrhea, stupor and disorientation are also symptoms of caffeine toxicity. These symptoms are likely to be much more severe than those resulting from drinking too much coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverages.
Who should know
All consumers seeking caffeinated products should be aware of the potentially high potency of these pure powdered caffeine products. Parents should recognize that teenagers and young adults may be drawn to these products for their perceived benefits.
What to do
- The FDA advises consumers to avoid pure powdered caffeine.
- It is nearly impossible to accurately measure pure powdered caffeine with common kitchen measuring tools and you can easily consume a lethal amount.
- If you believe that you are having an adverse event related to caffeine, stop using it and seek immediate medical care or advice.
- The FDA wants to know about adverse events associated with pure powdered caffeine and other highly caffeinated products. You or your health care provider can help by reporting these adverse events to FDA in the following ways:
- By phone at 240-402-2405
- By email at CAERS@cfsan.fda.gov
Why this advice is important
Pure powdered caffeine products are potentially dangerous, and serious adverse events can result, including death. People with pre-existing heart conditions should not use them.
FDA Voice: A blog by Mike Landa, Director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, addresses how two tragic deaths highlight the dangers of pure powdered caffeine.