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Stay Awake

Generic name: caffeine (KAF een)
Brand name: Alert, No Doz, Pep-Back Peak Performance, Stay Awake, Vivarin
Drug class: CNS stimulants

Medically reviewed by on Nov 17, 2020. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Stay Awake?

Stay Awake is used to help you feel alert or wakeful when you are tired or drowsy.

Stay Awake should not be used as a substitute for sleep.

Stay Awake may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Before taking this medicine

Stay Awake is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old. This medicine gum should not be used by anyone younger than 18 years old, or anyone who is sensitive to this medicine.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if Stay Awake is safe to use if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How should I take Stay Awake?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Each dose of this product usually contains about as much Stay Awake as a cup of coffee, a can of cola, or one energy drink.

Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends not consuming more than a total of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day in any form.

You may take the Stay Awake tablet with or without food.

Do not chew more than 2 pieces of the Stay Awake gum at one time. Do not swallow the gum whole.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Stay Awake is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Overdose symptoms may include fast heartbeats, trouble sleeping, or feeling nervous or irritable.

What should I avoid while taking Stay Awake?

Avoid food or drinks that contain Stay Awake, such as coffee, tea, cola, or chocolate milk.

Stay Awake side effects

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

Stop using Stay Awake and call your doctor if you have:

  • ongoing tiredness or drowsiness; or

  • ongoing sleep problems.

Common side effects may include:

  • feeling restless;

  • loss of appetite; or

  • sleep problems (insomnia).

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.

What other drugs will affect Stay Awake?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using Stay Awake with any other medications, especially tizanidine.

Other drugs may affect Stay Awake, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Does Stay Awake interact with my other drugs?

Enter other medications to view a detailed report.

Frequently asked questions

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.