caffeine (Enerjets, No Doz, Vivarin)

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GENERIC NAME: caffeine (oral)

BRAND NAMES: Enerjets, No Doz, Vivarin

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Caffeine acts as a stimulant of the nervous system by inhibiting the enzyme phosphodiesterase, just like theophylline and aminophylline. Inhibiting this enzyme leads to increased formation of the proteins which causes release of stimulating chemical signals known as neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters bind to various sites in the body, including the brain, heart, and muscles to cause a stimulant effect.

PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 200 mg; Lozenge: 75mg

STORAGE: Caffeine should be stored at room temperature, between 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Oral caffeine tablets are used to restore mental alertness or wakefulness when experiencing fatigue and drowsiness and caffeine withdrawal.

DOSING: 100 to 200 mg every 3 to 4 hours as needed no later than 6 hours before bedtime.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Combining caffeine with other stimulating agents, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Ritalin LA, Concerta, Methylin, Methylin ER, Metadate CD, Metadate ER), should be done with caution. This combination may cause increased side effects including rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, hallucinations, tremor, and anxiety. Other dietary sources of caffeine, such as tea, add to the effect. Caffeine should be used with caution with adenosine, as the effects of adenosine may be diminished. Linezolid, phenelzine, selegiline, and tranylcypromine combined with caffeine increases the risk of high blood pressure. Consider alternatives when combining caffeine and vemurafenib and Stiripentol as caffeine concentrations may be increased.

PREGNANCY: Category C; usual dietary exposure to caffeine is unlikely to cause congenital malformations, however studies show conflicting results about adverse events. Concentrations in the mother are similar to those found in the fetus. Daily intake should be no more than 200 mg.

NURSING MOTHERS: Caffeine enters the breast milk, and, therefore should be used cautiously by nursing mothers.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects associated with caffeine supplements include irregular heartbeat, chest pain, flushing, palpitations, rapid heartbeat, agitation, dizziness, hallucinations, headache, insomnia, irritability, psychosis, restlessness, rash, increased pressure in the eye, and frequent urination.

REFERENCE: FDA.gov. Medicines in my Home: Caffeine and Your Body.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/29/2014



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