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Dangers of Caffeine Pills & Drinks

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Product Liability on February 22, 2016

Many of us in Portland rely on caffeine to not only give us a boost in the morning, but also to keep us going throughout the day. Whether it is a cup of coffee or tea from your favorite café or a can of soda from a vending machine, we often depend upon these things to keep us alert while we work or play. Our addiction to and demand for caffeine has given rise to numerous products designed to provide a mega dose that will increase our energy, focus, and alertness. Unfortunately, this can come at a heavy cost.

At the Johnston Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers have seen an increased number of people who have been hurt by the harmful effects of caffeine supplements, including caffeine pills and energy drinks. We have compiled the following information about the dangers of consuming too much caffeine, especially for minors, as well as the importance of warning labels notifying consumers of the potential dangers these products can pose.

The Dangers of Too Much Caffeine

According to a 2015 article in the Chicago Tribune, there has been a nationwide surge in the number of people suffering injuries as the result of too much caffeine. As products such as energy drinks, energy ‘shots’, stay awake pills, and even caffeinated gums have flooded the market, there are increasing reports of health concerns caused by the amounts of caffeine these products contain.  The Tribune article reports that hospitals throughout the U.S. have shown increases in caffeine-related overdoses, and that poison control centers across the nations received nearly 2,000 reports of caffeine overdoses related to energy drinks during the first six months of 2015 alone. Nearly two-thirds of those affected were 18 years old or younger.

WWL-TV online news report indicates that doctors at the Oregon Poison Control Center are particularly concerned over the increased use of caffeine powders. These powders can be added to food, drinks, or other substances in order to add an extra caffeine ‘jolt’. With one teaspoon of the powder being equal to roughly 25 cups of coffee, it is no wonder that the  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that even small amounts of the substance can lead to overdose.

The Importance Of Warning Labels

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the number of caffeine related overdoses and adverse effects that have been reported over the last decade warrant more aggressive labeling and warning by the FDA. While foods, beverages, and dietary supplements that contain caffeine are not required to display the amount contained within the product, over-the-counter medicines are required to post that information, as well as warnings advising those who purchase these products of the potentially serious effects. The NIH recommends that for the safety of consumers, it would be wise to have information on caffeine levels as well as warning labels regarding the potential dangers of high levels caffeine on these pills and beverages.

Contact Our Portland Product Liability Attorneys for Help

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to caffeine pills, beverages, or caffeinated powders, contact our experienced Portland product liability attorney immediately.  At the Johnston Law Firm, we provide aggressive legal representation for people who suffer injuries due to dangerous products. We can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable so that you get the compensation you deserve. Call or contact us online today for a free review of your case.

Marc Johnston
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