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Caffeine citrate (injection/oral liquid)

Generic name: caffeine citrate (injection/oral liquid) [ KAF-een-SIT-rate ]
Brand name: Cafcit injection/oral liquid
Dosage forms: intravenous solution (citrate 20 mg/mL), oral liquid (citrate 20 mg/mL)
Drug class: CNS stimulants

Medically reviewed by on Aug 14, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is caffeine citrate (injection/oral liquid)?

This medication guide provides information about Cafcit injection and oral liquid forms of caffeine citrate. Other forms of caffeine citrate used for wakefulness are NOT covered in this medication guide.

Caffeine citrate injection or oral liquid (Cafcit) is used to treat breathing problems in premature infants.

Caffeine citrate injection or oral liquid may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Caffeine citrate (injection/oral liquid) side effects

Get emergency medical help if your child has signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your child's doctor at once if your child has:

Common side effects of caffeine citrate may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your child's doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell your child's healthcare providers about all the child's medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines given to the child.

Before taking this medicine

Cafcit should not be given to a child who is allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if your child has ever had:

Tell your child's doctor if you used caffeine during late pregnancy.

Infants being treated with Cafcit may develop necrotizing enterocolitis (a condition where a portion of the bowel dies). Ask your child's doctor about this risk.

How is caffeine citrate given?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your child's dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Cafcit is for short-term use only. Do not use caffeine citrate for longer than 12 days without the advice of your child's doctor.

Cafcit oral liquid is given by mouth.

Caffeine citrate injection is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give your child this injection.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use only the dosing syringe provided. Give the medicine only in the amount prescribed by your child's doctor (mL and cc are equal measurements). Cafcit oral liquid may also be given through a feeding tube.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Give the oral liquid at the same time each day.

Do not use the liquid if it looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medication.

Cafcit oral liquid doses are based on weight. Your child's dose needs may change if the child gains or loses weight. Do not change your baby's dose without first asking your doctor.

Your child will need frequent medical tests.

Call your doctor right away if your baby's apnea symptoms do not improve.

Cafcit contains no preservative. Do not open a bottle of this medicine until you are ready to give the dose.

Each bottle of Cafcit oral liquid is for one use only. Throw it away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Caffeine citrate dosing information

Usual Pediatric Dose for Apnea of Prematurity:

Caffeine Citrate:
28 Weeks to Less Than 33 Weeks Gestational Age:
-Loading Dose: 20 mg/kg IV over 30 minutes one time.
-Maintenance Dose: 5 mg/kg orally or IV over 10 minutes every 24 hours.
-Treatment Duration: Safety and efficacy of this drug for treatment of apnea of prematurity have not been established beyond 12 days.

Use: Short-term treatment of apnea of prematurity in infants.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you forget to give your child's dose of caffeine citrate oral liquid.

Because caffeine citrate injection is given in a clinical setting, your child is not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include fever, rapid breathing, nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, abnormal blood tests, and seizures.

What should your child avoid while using caffeine citrate (injection/oral liquid)?

Avoid giving the child food or drinks that contain caffeine, such as cola or chocolate milk.

What other drugs will affect caffeine citrate (injection/oral liquid)?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines given to the child, especially theophylline.

Other drugs may affect caffeine citrate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your child's current medicines and any medicine the child starts or stops using.

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

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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