Should I Induce Vomiting if I Take Too Much Caffeine

Edited by Jerry Rivers, Eng, Lynn, JennaX and 3 others

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You may have been advised that all you have to do is induce vomiting if you've suffered an extreme overdose of caffeine. There are a few options to clear the caffeine from your stomach. Inducing vomiting is not recommended unless you are advised to do so by an expert at a poison control center, or a certified person in the medical field. There is an around-the-clock national poison control center in the United States that can assist you by calling their toll-free helpline number: 1-800-222-1222. The professionals there are experienced in dealing with such dilemmas. They may use hemofiltration or other means to treat a severe overindulgence of caffeine. Alternative treatments could be laxatives, gastric lavage, activated charcoal, or hemodialysis.

Dangers and Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning

It may seem trite, but an overdose of caffeine can be a serious matter, and could even be lethal. There is no need to give up your coffee, or other favourite caffeinated drink, but you do need to limit your intake. Just what is that limit, and what are the side effects if you have had too much caffeine? How much should you cut back on your daily caffeine intake? This will all be answered below.

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  1. 1
    There are hundreds of different caffeine-containing drinks consumed world-wide
    In the USA, drinking coffee, iced tea, Pepsi-Cola, Red Bull, Monster Energy Drinks, and Coca-Cola are a huge part of everyday life for many Americans. Ninety percent of adults drink one or more caffeinated drinks each day.
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  2. 2
    It is typical to consume great quantities of it to keep going in such a competitive society
    Commercials promote these beverages heavily, as the market is also highly competitive.
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  3. 3
    The problem is in the "monkey-see, monkey-do" world, people are influenced heavily by others
    Seeing that others are drinking large amounts of caffeinated drinks, you may falsely believe that it is quite all right. For some people, it's almost like a competition.
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  4. 4
    Caffeine takes four hours or more to clear from your tissue.
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Symptoms of Consuming Too Much Caffeine

The tolerance for caffeine varies from person to person. Several factors, such as your size, how much caffeine you normally consume, genetics, health, body-fat ratio, age, diet, and even the time of day effect your body's limit on caffeine. A few people have a very low tolerance to coffee due to an allergy. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, it may be due to a coffee overdose. Cut back on your caffeine consumption, just in case this is the cause.

  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach upset
  • Jitters and anxiety
  • Lack of sleep, or insomnia
  • Excessive sweating and urination
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular racing of the heart at times, or palpitations.
  • Heart attack, or cardiac arrest, from extremely high levels of caffeine intake.

The Dangers of Quitting Caffeine

What happens if you just stop ingesting caffeine? Do not stop completely from drinking caffeinated beverages if you are habitually drinking it daily. This will cause severe withdrawal side effects, if you try to quit "cold turkey". Expect these side effects if you stop taking caffeine completely and you're used to consuming it daily:

  • Severe headaches
  • Fatigue and malaise
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Easily irritated
  • Muscle spasms and/or tension
  • Tremors and vomiting
  1. 1
    Symptoms from caffeine withdrawal will usually begin about twelve hours from the moment you stop
    The effects will generally be subside within 24-48 hours according to medical research. If you are among the few highly sensitive to caffeine, your symptoms will begin within a few hours of cessation, will be more severe, and may last as long as seven days.
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  2. 2
    Half of those who suddenly stop taking caffeine will have a headache
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  3. 3
    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, that is a reference manual for all medical professionals, has included anxiety, insomnia and intoxication caused by caffeine in its fourth edition
    Caffeine withdrawal is now included in the fifth edition of the DSM.
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  4. 4
    For most people, the maximum intake recommended of caffeine is between 300 and 500 mg daily
    As a barometer for most people, that means two to three cups of regular coffee each day.
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Should You Induce Vomiting from Taking Too Much Caffeine?

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  1. 1
    You should not induce vomiting unless it is recommended (after giving the reason for it) by a medical professional
    If you are in the United States, you can call the toll-free helpline number at the Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222. It can be reached if you are outside the USA if you use the proper "out-of-country" code, but there will be a charge.
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  2. 2
    If you overdose severely on caffeine, it will send an alarm to your nervous system that will naturally cause your body to feel severe nausea
    This will naturally induce vomiting. So, just as with other toxins, your body will automatically "know" when you have exceeded your body tolerance to caffeine.
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  3. 3
    Just why should you not induce vomiting without an "OK" from a medical professional, anyway
    1. Stomach acids will come up with any food that is not completely digested. This will be composed of hydrochloric acid, sodium chloride and potassium chloride
    2. The compounds in the gastric fluid are highly corrosive. If you put a drop of it on a cloth handkerchief, it will eat a hole!
    3. The gastric fluid can damage all that it contacts - your mouth lining, teeth, larynx, lower esophageal sphincter, esophagus, and throat lining.
    4. The pressure from forced, unnatural vomiting, can also severely strain your throat and esophagus.
    5. The vomiting will also deplete the electrolytes your body requires.
    6. For a few people, vomiting can become a "crutch". For example, every time a high calorie food or drink is consumed, it is later vomited to supposedly reduce calories.
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So, just how much should you reduce your caffeine intake so that you do not suffer from withdrawal symptoms? Experts say that a safe reduction of caffeine consumption from your present amount is 25 percent each week, until you are within the healthy range of 300 to 500 mg daily. If you want to completely eliminate caffeine from your diet, you should follow this same rate of cutting back until you reach that goal.

Questions and Answers

Should I induce vomiting before going to the hospital for a caffeine overdose?

It is better not to self-medicate, especially in cases like this, which can be rather serious. While vomiting may help, especially if you have just taken coffee, it may not work in cases where the body has fully absorbed the caffeine already. In other words, even if you vomit, it won't help anymore because it has already been

When experiencing a caffeine overdose, it is still best to go to the doctor right away, instead of self-resolving the issue.

You could if you just drank one. But I do not suggest you do if it has been 1-2 hours already. You need to go to the hospital to let a doctor see you as they can evaluate your overdose. They will give you activated charcoal, which is a common remedy for overdose. It also prevents the caffeine from going into your gastrointestinal tract.

I think I took in to much caffeine. Can I induce vomiting?

I feel shaky, my left side under my breast is kind of hurting, not real bad but enough to make me nervous. Also I feel like I have crawling sensations in my legs. Very weird.

Instead of inducing vomiting, a more effective way to address this is to drink plenty of water. After a few minutes, you will notice that you are urinating more often and the caffeine will be eliminated that way. Vomiting won't really be able to bring out all the caffeine in your body and it will just make you feel sick.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Recent edits by: Nuance, Jen M, JennaX

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