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Caffeine citrate

Generic Name: caffeine citrate (oral) (KAF een SIT rate)
Brand Name: Cafcit, ...show all 16 brand names

Medically reviewed on June 11, 2018

What is caffeine citrate?

Caffeine citrate is a central nervous system stimulant.

Caffeine citrate is used to treat breathing problems in premature infants.

Caffeine citrate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Caffeine citrate should not be given to a child who has ever had an allergic reaction to this medicine.

Before taking this medicine

Caffeine citrate should not be given to a child who has ever had an allergic reaction to this medicine.

To make sure caffeine citrate is safe for your child, tell your doctor if the child has:

  • seizures;

  • heart disease; or

  • liver or kidney disease.

How should I use caffeine citrate?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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

Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not use the medicine if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medication.

Each bottle of caffeine citrate is for one use only, even if your child does not use the entire bottle for a single dose. Throw away any medicine left over in the bottle after measuring your child's dose.

Call your doctor if your child's symptoms do not improve after using caffeine citrate.

While using caffeine citrate, your child may need frequent blood tests.

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

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while taking caffeine citrate?

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

Caffeine citrate side effects

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

Stop using caffeine citrate and call your doctor at once if the child has:

  • feeding problems, loss of appetite;

  • vomiting, diarrhea, stomach bloating;

  • blood in the urine or stools;

  • more wet diapers than usual;

  • sweating or shivering;

  • weakness, drowsiness; or

  • seizure (convulsions).

Common side effects may include:

  • fussiness, excessive crying;

  • skin rash; or

  • irritable or restless behavior.

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

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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 other drugs will affect caffeine citrate?

Other drugs may interact with caffeine citrate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines your child uses now and any medicine the child starts or stops using.

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.

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