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Generic name: Caffeine
Brand names: NoDoz, Vivarin, Revive, Stay Awake, Enerjets, Lucidex
Drug class: CNS stimulants
Companies: various generic manufacturers, Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. (NoDoz), GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (Viviarin)

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Aug 22, 2023.

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It works by stimulating the brain. Caffeine is found naturally in foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, colas, energy and chocolate. Botanical sources of caffeine include kola nuts, guarana, and yerba mate. Caffeine is also available in prescription and non-prescription medications.

Caffeine is used to restore mental alertness or wakefulness during fatigue or drowsiness. Caffeine is also found in some headache and migraine medications, in certain dietary supplements used for weight loss, and in many popular energy drinks.

Caffeine citrate (Cafcit) is available by prescription only. 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.

Do NOT use caffeine:

What Should I Know Before Using Caffeine?

Some medical conditions may interact with caffeine. Tell your health care provider if you have ANY medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you: Drug interactions may occur with caffeine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

This is NOT a complete drug interaction list. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine. A complete drug interaction check should be completed prior to your use of caffeine or any medication.

How Should I Use Caffeine?

Use caffeine as directed by your health care provider. If the medication is OTC, check the label on the bottle for the exact dosing instructions. If you have any questions about the use of an OTC medication, ask your pharmacist.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use caffeine.

Important safety information:

Common side effects of Caffeine:

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. Call your health care provider for medical advice about side effects.

In case of overdose:

Symptoms of overdose may include agitation; anxiety; confusion; frequent urination; irregular or fast heartbeat; muscle twitching; ringing in the ears; seizures; stomach pain; trouble sleeping.

Proper storage of Caffeine:

Store caffeine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep caffeine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

This information is a summary only. Consult with your health care provider for additional questions or concerns about the use of caffeine.

More Caffeine resources

Compare Caffeine with other medications for


1. Caffeine tablet [package insert]. Woonsocket, RI; CVS Pharmacy. 2011 August

Popular FAQ

Fioricet contains 40 mg of caffeine, similar to a cup of tea. The following shows the average amount of caffeine in some common beverages:

  • 8 oz of coffee: 80 to 100 mg of caffeine
  • 8 oz green or black tea: 30 to 50 mg of caffeine
  • 12 oz caffeinated soda: 30 to 40 mg of caffeine

Caffeine is not listed as having a drug interaction with the atypical antipsychotic medicine Vraylar (generic name: cariprazine). However, Vraylar may lead to restlessness, the feeling of the need to move around (akathisia), or trouble with sleeping (insomnia) in some patients. Call a health care provider right away if you or your family member has any of these symptoms while receiving Vraylar. Continue reading

Each tablet of Excedrin Migraine contains 65 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, 250 mg of acetaminophen, and 250 mg of aspirin. The dose for adults is 2 caplets or geltabs with a glass of water. Do not take more than two tablets in any 24-hour period, unless directed by a doctor. Continue reading

No, Maxalt does not contain caffeine. Maxalt contains rizatriptan benzoate, a medicine in a class of prescription drugs known as “triptans” used for migraine headaches. Continue reading

Caffeine has been shown to increase the effects of pain relievers like aspirin and acetaminophen for migraine headaches, increasing the effectiveness of these medicines by up to 40%. Continue reading

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.