Caffeine abuse may be a growing problem among young people, suggests a three-year Northwestern University study of phone calls to the Illinois Poison Centre in Chicago.
The researchers identified more than 250 cases of medical complications caused by taking caffeine pills or supplements. The average age of those who abused caffeine was 21, NBC News reported.
Caffeine alone was abused in 186 (68 percent) of the 250 cases and abused with other pharmaceutical products in 81 (29 percent) of the cases, the study said. It also found that the use of other pharmaceutical products along with caffeine abuse was significantly associated with hospitalisations.
"Part of the problem is that people do not think of caffeine as a drug, but rather as a food product," said researcher Dr Danielle McCarthy. "We want people ingesting caffeine pills and supplements to know that caffeine is a drug, and overuse is potentially harmful, especially when mixed with other pharmaceuticals for euphoria. There is a trend in the pro-drug culture towards promoting legal alternatives to illegal drugs, and it can be very harmful."
The study was released Monday at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians. – (HealthDayNews)
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