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Coffee-Loving Seniors, Others Warned by FDA to Avoid Powdered Pure Caffeine

FDA says at least one death reported from use of pure caffeine sold in bulk over internet

July 24, 2014 Say the word caffeine and the heads of senior citizens usually pops up. It makes them think of their favorite drink coffee. But, this time it is a message from the Food and Drug Administration warning about powdered pure caffeine being marketed directly to consumers.

Pure caffeine products are potentially dangerous, and serious adverse events can result, including death. People with pre-existing heart conditions should not use them, according to the FDA.


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In particular, the FDA is concerned about powdered pure caffeine sold in bulk bags over the internet. The FDA is aware of at least one death of a teenager who used these products.

These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine. A single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee.

Pure caffeine is a powerful stimulant and very small amounts may cause accidental overdose.

Symptoms of caffeine overdose can include rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures and death. Vomiting, diarrhea, stupor and disorientation are also symptoms of caffeine toxicity. These symptoms are likely to be much more severe than those resulting from drinking too much coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverages.

Senior citizens and all consumers seeking caffeinated products should be aware of the potentially high potency of these powdered pure caffeine products. Parents should recognize that teenagers and young adults, too, may be drawn to these products for their perceived benefits.

What to do

   The FDA advises consumers to avoid powdered pure caffeine.

   It is nearly impossible to accurately measure powdered pure caffeine with common kitchen measuring tools and you can easily consume a lethal amount.

   If you believe that you are having an adverse event related to caffeine, stop using it and seek immediate medical care or advice.

   The FDA wants to know about adverse events associated with powdered pure caffeine and other highly caffeinated products. You or your health care provider can help by reporting these adverse events to FDA in the following ways:

   By phone at 240-402-2405

   By email at


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