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FDA Scrutinizes Powdered Caffeine After Ohio Prom King’s Death

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Powered Caffeine Raises Concerns Following Prom King’s Death

It’s been in the news lately, powdered caffeine, because of reports of teen overdoses.  Sold online in bulk, powdered caffeine is cheap and powerful.  For example, 100,000 mg costs about $10 and contains the same amount of caffeine as 1,000 Red Bulls.  Typically, powdered caffeine can be used for at-home drinks such as pre-workout smoothies or in foods.  However, even the customer reviews on the website warn of how easy it is to overdose on the amount of caffeine that you think you are adding to your drinks and food.  The recommended serving size is 1/16 of a tablespoon, whereas heaping two regular spoonfuls of powdered caffeine into your drink or food is the same as drinking 70 Red Bulls at once.  Drinking that much caffeine could kill you, and unfortunately that’s what happened to an Ohio prom king who decided to try powered caffeine.

FDA Doesn’t Regulate Powered Caffeine

According to the FDA, powdered caffeine is considered a “supplement” and is therefore not subject to FDA regulations.  However, the FDA says that it is currently scrutinizing powdered caffeine and will consider taking regulatory actions.  Sadly, it’s too late for Logan Stiner, a prom king and high school wrestler who died after consuming a lethal amount of powdered caffeine.  According to an autopsy, Stiner had 70 micrograms of caffeine is blood at the time of his death, which is about 23 times the amount in the blood of a regular coffee or soda pop drinker.  His mother says she was unaware that her son was using powdered caffeine and that he was just days away from graduation when he died on May 27 this year.  The FDA is warning parents, in particular, to keep a close eye on their teens because of powdered caffeine’s popularity with that age group.

FDA Issues Guidelines on Powdered Caffeine

Although the FDA is currently investigating powdered caffeine following Stiner’s death, the agency recently released guidelines for the public to follow when it comes to powdered caffeine:

  1. Powdered caffeine is a powerful stimulant and should be avoided.
  2. It is nearly impossible to accurately measure the “safe” amount of powdered caffeine, and taking too much can be lethal.
  3. If you believe you are having an adverse reaction to caffeine, stop use and seek medical attention immediately.
  4. The FDA wants to know about any cases of adverse reactions to powdered caffeine.  Contact the FDA at 240-402-2405 or CAERS@cfsan.fda.gov