Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: CNS Stimulant
Chemical Class: Caffeine
Uses For This Medicine
Caffeine citrate injection is used to treat short-term apnea of prematurity when premature babies (infants between 28 and 32 weeks gestational age) stop breathing. Apnea of prematurity is caused by the baby's breathing centers not being fully developed.
Caffeine citrate is available with or without your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For caffeine citrate, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to caffeine citrate or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of caffeine citrate injection in premature babies.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of caffeine citrate injection in geriatric patients.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving caffeine citrate, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using caffeine citrate with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using caffeine citrate with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Peginterferon Alfa-2b
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using caffeine citrate with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use caffeine citrate, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of caffeine citrate. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Anemia or
- Central nervous system problems or
- Heart or blood vessel problems or
- Lung disease or breathing problems (eg, obstructive apnea) or
- Sepsis (infection in the blood)—Should be ruled out or treated first before using caffeine citrate.
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or
- Hypoglycemia (high blood sugar) or
- Necrotizing enterocolitis or
- Seizures, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of caffeine oral solution from the body.
Proper Use of This Medicine
A nurse or other trained health professional will give your baby caffeine citrate in a hospital. Caffeine citrate is given through a needle placed in one of your baby's veins. The medicine must be injected slowly, so your baby's IV tube will need to stay in place for 10 to 30 minutes.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Your baby's doctor will check your baby's progress closely while your baby is receiving caffeine citrate. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if your baby should continue to receive it.
Call your baby's doctor right away if your baby continues to have apnea.
Tell your baby's doctor right away if your baby has one of the following symptoms: faster heartbeat, increased diaper wetting, restlessness, jitteriness, or shaking.
Call your baby's doctor right away if your baby has the following symptoms: abdominal or stomach distension, vomiting, or bloody stools. These may be symptoms of a serious bowel or stomach problem.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
This Medicine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Feeding intolerance
- black, tarry stools
- blood in the stools or urine
- burning feeling or tenderness in the stomach
- coughing or vomiting blood
- decreased urine output
- fast heartbeat
- muscle twitching
- persistent bleeding
- rapid, shallow breathing
- rapid weight gain
- stomach upset
- swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
- trouble breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
- rapid heartbeat
- trouble sleeping
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Dry skin
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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