Documented Deaths By Caffeine

Fatalities from caffeine intake are rare. Deaths by energy drinks are rarer due to the large amount of liquid that would need to be ingested at one time.

real-deaths-by-caffeine

However people with underlying medical conditions could be more susceptible to caffeine overdose with smaller amounts than our caffeine calculator would illustrate. See also the coffee overdose calculator to check your safe levels.

Tragically, people have died from too much caffeine, and here are some of the cases where caffeine was believed to cause of death.

Death By Caffeine Pills

Caffeine pills are dangerous as they deliver a huge dose of caffeine that can be taken multiple times in a short period of time.

1. The death of a 19-year-old Connecticut resident, James Stone, has been blamed on “caffeine toxicity”. The culprit was a dose of two dozen No-Doz tablets.

From the New Haven Register:

“I don’t want any other parent to go through what my wife and I have been through,” James Stone Sr. said. “It does not say on the bottle that it will kill you. It says right on the box that it’s like a cup of coffee.”

A quick tally of the dose equates to about 4800 mg of caffeine (presumably these were the maximum strength No-Doz). As you can see on the box: “Safe as coffee”.

That’s not really true.

Caffeine in the form of this little pill hits you all at once. Drinking the equivalent amount in coffee takes considerably longer.

This is a tragic story – and serves as a warning. Don’t mess around with caffeine pills – especially if you have high blood pressure issues or heart problems.

2. 26-year-old, Gemma Ann Jones from the UK, was found dead after she consumed 50-100 caffeine-laden pills called EPH25. It appears that this caffeine death was a suicide.

These pills also contain ephedrine and other dangerous supplements as well as 200mg of caffeine. Link

3. Another woman from the UK, Katie Goard, also recently overdosed by taking diet pills. In this case, the pill was called Fat Metaboliser and we are unsure how much caffeine is in each pill, but the coroner established that Katie consumed an equivalent to more than 50 cups of coffee.

Her family also reported that she was also drinking alcohol all evening long prior to her death. Src.

4. 24-year-old Cara Reynolds from the UK recently overdosed on raspberry ketone pills that also contained 160 mg of caffeine each. This was an intentional overdose due to her mental state after breaking up with her boyfriend.

The coroner estimated her blood caffeine level to be equivalent to that of drinking 225 cans of Red Bull. Link.

Death by Caffeine Powder

An Ohio teenager, Logan Stiner, was found dead after ingesting a large dose of pure caffeine powder.

The coroner said that the young man’s blood had a caffeine concentration of 70 micrograms per milliliter of blood. (A normal dose of caffeine puts this at 1-15 micrograms per milliliter.) src.

The BBC News recently reported that a university in England mistakingly administered 30 grams of caffeine powder to two students participating in a study about the effects of caffeine on exercise. The students were supposed to have received .3 grams or 300 mg. Although typically 30 grams would be a lethal dose for most people, due to prompt medical attention, these students didn’t die. Both students have made a full recovery.

Bulk caffeine powder is popular with bodybuilders and is gaining popularity among teens.

Death by Energy Drinks

1. A fatal case in Australia was researched in 2009. Between 8 am and 3 pm the 28-year-old patient drank 7-8 cans of an unnamed energy drink. He collapsed at 3 pm and suffered a fatal cardiac arrest. Researchers “…postulate a possible role of excessive consumption of caffeinated energy drinks in triggering the life-threatening cardiac events”.

2. A Nigerian man died after drinking 8 cans of Bullet Energy Drink. He did this as part of a bet to win less than 100usd. After he finished the last can, he became unconscious and was pronounced dead a short time later. It is unclear how much caffeine is in Bullet, but it seems comparable to that of a Red Bull. Source.

3. A Japanese man died from drinking too many energy drinks along with possible intake of caffeine pills.

Shinichi Kubo, a professor of forensic medicine at the university, concluded that the man had died from a caffeine overdose and reported the results to the police after carrying out an examination. While no other illness or abnormality was recognized, a small amount of alcohol was found in the man’s blood and a high concentration of caffeine was contained in his gastric residuals, blood, and urine. Source.

4. In 2017, a 16-year-old South Carolina high school student died from consuming too much caffeine according to the Richland County Coroner. (src.) There was no pre-existing heart condition discovered during the autopsy. It is believed that Davis Allen Cripe consumed a large McDonald’s latte, a large Mountain Dew, and an unknown energy drink within the two hours proceeding his collapse in the classroom. This comes right on the heels of a recent study that found energy drinks to have a greater impact on blood pressure and heart rate than beverages that contain just caffeine alone. Even though Davis didn’t consume a lethal amount of caffeine, something with the combination of what he consumed caused him to have a severe arrhythmia, which led to his death.

monster energy drink deaths

5. The FDA is investigating 13 deaths that have been attributed to 5 Hour Energy Shot over the last four years.

Death by Monster

1. A tragic fatality occurred in the US in 2011 after a 14-year-old girl consumed two 24 ounce cans of Monster (480mg caffeine) before going into cardiac arrest.

2. In 2013, a mother filed a lawsuit against Monster for the death of her 19-year-old son. He consumed 3 Monsters in the 24 hours prior to his death and about 2 to 3 a day for the last 3 years. Three 16 oz. Monsters would contain 480 milligrams of caffeine.

3. In 2015 a 19-year-old man reportedly drank 3 1/2 twenty-four fluid ounce Monsters and then played basketball. He collapsed while playing and died at the hospital. His father is now suing Monster (January 2017) for unspecified damages. This young man would have consumed 840 mg of caffeine in short period of time. The cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia which was triggered by the excessive caffeine and vigorous exercise. Source.

Reported Deaths Related to Caffeine Overdose

The American Association of Poison Control Centers tracks all the calls they receive from intentional or accidental overdose of all kinds of substances and drugs including caffeine and energy drinks.

Here is their latest data published in 2014 for the year 2013.

Energy ProductSingle ExposuresAdults 20+Children < 20Deaths
Energy Drinks
(caffeine any source)
1,685*3431,2980
Caffeine2,516*9431,4530
*The ages of some of the individuals were unknown.

The above data tells us that there are indeed people ingesting too much caffeine from products like energy drinks, coffee, and caffeine pills.

The majority of these incidents are happening to those under the age of 20, which is somewhat alarming.

Luckily for the majority of those involved, there were no reported deaths as the result of caffeine consumption in 2013 as reported by the AAPCC, but 1,182 people were treated at a medical facility as the result of the exposure with 12 people experiencing major negative health symptoms.

While death by caffeine does occur, it is extremely rare.

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  • Holley

    No-doze is dangerous.
    All I took was 5 and it
    about killed me I swear.
    I could’nt stop shakin and my
    heart felt like it might explode.
    so there ya go..STAY AWAY!!!

  • jimbo

    holley you are an idiot just because you couldnt stop shaking doesnt mean you were about to die ya retart cop on to yourself 5 would not kill you!

  • Mikey

    I can’t understand all the warnings to stay away. Common sense dictates that 24 of any OTC drug is enough to cause serious harm or death. Just use your damned head and you can use No Doz safely and effectively.

  • Austin

    why in the hell would anyone need that much caffeine? Didn’t he know that he could have just took 2 and been alert. Idiot, of course taking 24 of anything would be not the greatest thing for your health.

  • c

    i know someone who took 29 didnt die but was hospitalized, vomited alot of blood,young people need to realize too much of any drug is dangerous

  • Well, no offence, but he DID take 24 tablets. The tablets aren’t any harm, but obviously if you take 24 of them in one go.. you’ll get the same effect by taking 24 sleeping pills. Blame it on the child, not the tablet.

  • Benjamin

    Hi wow I cant believe this blog is still going on after almost 2 years. My man James died of an “ACCIDENTAL” death of caffeine not a suicide. He was not stupid either he did not take them all at once from what the autopsy proved maybe a few here and there but he was only 5 feet tall and weighed maybe 110 pounds. This im sure had something to do with his death. Everyone is entitle to their own oppinion and for this I am not going to bash their own ignorance. As you can see from the website he was special to many. However he was not “Retarded” as some of you put. I see some of you want the whole story for which I am still willing to talk about, and it is alot easier for me now than 18 months ago. My email is benjaminl1979@aol.com I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Betti

    OMG! you guys are STUPID to think these pills are bad…
    my mom always tells me when ever i ask her if something is bad for me shell reply with “too much of ANYTHING can be bad for you”
    ive asked her that question since i was like 6 and im 18 now and i still get the same answer
    lol my mommy knows everything
    these pills are not harmful unless you take a mass amount irresponsibly, like 24.. and who ever is stupid enough to take 2 dozen of ANY pill is a F-ing MORON

  • Betti

    ok i looked it up so he had an accidental over dose.. but really REALLY.. why would you take so many.. im scared to take more than two at a time… and i use NoDoz to get me up in the morning cause its impossible for me to get outa bed. that boy was brave. but shoulda read the whole box first.. it does say one every few hours.. not “one every 10 min”.. or “if it doesn’t work the first 5 seconds pop 3 more”.. im just sayin you cant blame the pills.. it was an accident. cost him his life. but man that sucks thats why they invented google. if you dont kno look that shit up.

  • a guy

    wow…i read this thing the day after i took 10 of those same exact pills, i freakin had a tummyache 2 days and shivered so much and cudnt feel my legs, of course, he suffered alot more…i cant imagine that pain…but damn dont even take more than 2, each pill is more than a can of monster

  • Jamison

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the victim was attempting to simulate the effects of cocaine, a drug which produces symptoms similar to that of large doses of caffeine.

  • Garrett

    They say its as safe as a cup of coffee because your suppose to take ONE WITH A GLASS OF WATER, DUHHHH

  • Elf

    This is designated to everyone but primarily to Roger… If i assume correctly with your use of the word “kid” and referring to this 19 yr old man, it wouldnt have mattered if they “put it in a poison cabinet” I do not know about the 19yr olds you know but i am 19, married with two children and enlisted, we arent incompitent, we was just dumb. As to everyone else, my senior year, i had a daily caffeine intake of apporx. 1500-2000mg a day with a 22hr awake period with no adverse affects. I only weighed 140 at 5’8″. It all depends on your normal usage. It sounds like a clear cut case of dumb suicide. I would think that if he had any sense and was still set to end his life he wouldnt have use one of the hardest drugs to OD on to do it. Asprin would have been a lot easier. Or a bridge. Or a building. get the picture.?? I have cut my caffeine intake down now, (it was hard) and i am down to on average between 200 and 1000mg a day. Primarily because i am now a 12 hour shift worker. The info on caffeine is now readily available to anyone who cares to go to Google.com. Most drinks and foods now have the caffeine content listed due to the fact that the FDA has deemed caffeine as a chemically addictive drug. The man did one of three things. Wanted a cheap death. $2.45. ,, Wanted a number to brag about the next day.. “i popped 24 caff caps last night.” ,, or ,, Was just plain stupid. No offense intended to the family but seriously. Who OD’s on caffeine? even with FIXX Extreme shot’s i would now have to drain 30 packs back to back to hit the toxicity level and i am only 165lbs and those have 400mg per pack. According to the calc. “which they state is not 100% accurate, i would have to consume 11650mg of caffeine to hit the toxicity levels required for death. and that is the same as any other vitamin OD. Its like every other thing. Stay within your limits or dont play the game.

    -Elf

    -Normality if only the Absence of Indifference. -Elf

  • tropicals

    I have eaten 24 tropical jelly belly’s and I am still here to talk about it.

  • frost

    I once was dared by much older friends to eat a box of 24 NoDoz, not only was it one (if not, the) stupidest thing i’ve ever done, but also one of the scariest. I was having uncontrollable twitches, and insomnia which lasted 2 days afterwards. Im just glad it wasn’t me that ended up having an article written about them

  • but you can’t od on weed.

  • CaffeineChemist

    Actually, yjuytjuty (O.o Nice… screen name…?), it IS entirely statistically possible to OD on THC, the chemical found in marijuana, but it’s highly unlikely considering that various parts of the plant (and various breeds and strains of the plant) all contain different levels of THC. It’s also theoretically possible to get addicted to THC, but again, unlikely.

    On the No-Doz. An energy drink or coffee is brought into your body a bit at a time and absorbed through the stomach lining nearly as soon, since the molecules are in the liquid state and more free to move around – and what’s in your stomach, liquid, right? So some absorb and some hang around, absorbing later. The caffeine in a No-Doz, however, dissolves all at once and thus hits you all at once as the stomach acid digests it, so you’re getting one ‘coffee-level’ dose of caffeine all at once as opposed to drinking it while on your daily commute.

  • colin

    many kids/teenagers don’t think about caffeine in the same way more experience people do, this is the problem. they aren’t concerned and may never have had a bad experience with caffeine. all they know is that it’s cool, it makes them all hyper and fun, and their parents don’t like them having so much…it’s perfect. So all they see caffeine as is positive, so the more the better without thinking anything ACTUALLY bad will happen. Also, thinking of consequences is the last thing most young people do. Caffeine should be handled and treated with respect because at large enough amounts it can give a person some of the most terrible hours of their life. I don’t have to tell anyone this that makes it to this page though 🙂 congrats you survived your bad experience.

  • Joe

    Yeah I feel real sorry for him. But the sad thing is I can take 15 or so a day and i am fine . On days I don’t have adderall . I take up to 4 at a time and drink a 24oz monster on top of that still No where near the adderall but it does help my add when I run out. In 23yo BTW I think stone work different on people with add they calm me down.

  • Bomchika

    It’s something I’ve contemplated in the past. Funny how these “Fun Facts” about caffeine say 10 grams, equivalent of 80 to 100 cups of coffee in rapid succession, is enough to kill you.

Last Modified: May 25, 2017