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Caffeine Side Effects

In Summary

More frequently reported side effects include: necrotizing enterocolitis. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to caffeine: intravenous solution

Along with its needed effects, caffeine 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 while taking caffeine:

More common
  • Feeding intolerance
Less common
  • Agitation
  • black, tarry stools
  • blood in the stools or urine
  • bruising
  • burning feeling or tenderness in the stomach
  • chills
  • coma
  • confusion
  • coughing or vomiting blood
  • decreased urine output
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • headache
  • hostility
  • indigestion
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle twitching
  • nausea
  • persistent bleeding
  • rapid, shallow breathing
  • rapid weight gain
  • rash
  • seizures
  • stomach upset
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • trouble breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking caffeine:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Irritability
  • nervousness
  • rapid heartbeat
  • trouble sleeping

Some side effects of caffeine 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:

Less common
  • Dry skin

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to caffeine: compounding powder, intravenous solution, oral gum, oral liquid, oral tablet, oral tablet dispersible, oral tablet extended release

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Constipation (up to 17.4%)
Common (1% to 10%): Necrotizing enterocolitis, gastritis, GI hemorrhage, gastroesophageal reflux, dilated bowel loops
Frequency not reported: Increased gastric aspirate, GI intolerance, vomiting, regurgitation[Ref]

General

Long-term follow-up studies have not shown caffeine to adversely affect neurological development or growth parameters.[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Hemorrhage, tachycardia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arrhythmia
Frequency not reported: Increased left ventricular output, increased stroke volume, hypertension[Ref]

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Rash, dry skin, skin breakdown[Ref]

Hematologic

Common (1% to 10%): Disseminated intravascular coagulation, anemia
Frequency not reported: Decreased hemoglobin[Ref]

Hepatic

Common (1% to 10%): Kidney failure[Ref]

Metabolic

Common (1% to 10%): Acidosis, hyperglycemia
Frequency not reported: Hypoglycemia, temporary reduced weight gain, decreased thyroxine[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Cerebral hemorrhage
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Convulsions/seizures
Frequency not reported: Irritability, restlessness, jitteriness, tremors, brain injury[Ref]

Ocular

Common (1% to 10%): Retinopathy of prematurity[Ref]

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Perinatal disorder (trace aspirates, feeding intolerances), injection site reaction, sepsis, accidental injury, abnormal healing, infusion site phlebitis and inflammation
Frequency not reported: Failure to thrive, deafness[Ref]

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Dyspnea, lung edema
Frequency not reported: Tachypnea[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hypersensitivity reaction[Ref]

Renal

Frequency not reported: Increased urine flow rate, increased creatinine clearance, increased sodium and calcium excretion[Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Cafcit (caffeine)" Roxane Laboratories Inc, Columbus, OH.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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