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.

Get Help Quitting Caffeine

Reduce your caffeine intake without pain and discomfort.

See our new 10-step plan
  • Greg

    But seriously though, coffee beans in my bum!

  • Let natural selection purge

    This isn’t death by caffeine, this is death by ignorance! This is natural selection at work, if you’re so clueless on dosages that you’ll overdose on 4800 mg caffeine, well shit that kid wouldn’t have survived long anyway.

  • Let natural selection purge

    It’s nice to see some people in this world have the capacity to blame the humans with consciousness rather than project blame onto objects.

  • Falcon D. Stormvoice

    I hope that was sarcastic.

  • Falcon D. Stormvoice

    As are your attempts at spelling.

  • Falcon D. Stormvoice

    Well, it’s not really anybody’s fault. You can die from drinking too much water.

  • Captain Obviboop

    Over-Dos. :O

  • Russell

    A lot of Vomiting, Dizziness, Diarrhea, shaking, it’s a pretty bad death. I’ve taken 2 no dos at once. It was not as fun as i thought it’d be.

  • purge personality disorders

    You seem to think that inanimate objects have feelings ergo they feel the effects of blame. As your name suggests though you don’t have any capacity for understanding fellow humans. You appear to revel in the deaths of others, therefore you are not an asset to the gene pool.

  • steven_l_jones

    couldn’t you tell?

  • Falcon D. Stormvoice

    There’s no telling, because there is no limit to the bounds of human stupidity. If we could harness idiocy as an energy source, we’d surpass such theoretical technologies as zero point extractors and cold fusion plants as abundant generators of electricity.

  • Joey the Kid

    Why, imagine that: What a way to get rid of one’s enemies—just slip a few hundred caffeine pills in their coffee whilst smiling pleasantly in their faces. If only Edgar Allan Poe had known.

  • Kent

    As a person who had depression issues, and the “I don’t care” attitude while in college, I ended up taking 20 caffeine pills while drinkin a lot of liquor, say the equivalent of 15 shots. I was about 350 pounds at the time. The doctor said the extra weight may have saved my life. With that being said, I spent the next almost 48 hours awake, in utter misery, vomiting, room spinning, and the worst hangover feeling that I personally have experienced. Don’t do that. Nothing good or positive really comes from it.

  • Ted

    Wow, you were lucky. Glad you’re still with us and thanks for sharing.

  • Jacked on Caffeine

    don’t eat the whole bottle of caffeine tabs, fools. seriously, you gonna DIE and not in a real pleasant way, either. you gonna die all HOPPED UP and spastic and hearing smelling feeling seeing tasting EVERY LITTLE THING so much you will crave the upcoming death.

    yes I am joking. and no, I’m not. I have OD’d on No-Doz (1,200 mg in 5 hrs) — totally my fault for overusing it. I could almost feel electricity crackling out of my super-dry eyes, and every little sound and touch was agony. never again.

  • Jacked on Caffeine

    it’s pretty friggin’ unpleasant to OD on caffiene. imagine your senses all pumped up to the max… dry mouth and eyes… needing to urinate constantly (and probably getting dehydrated from that)…. maybe desperately wanting to sleep and knowing it won’t happen for at least another several hours, as every little sound and touch begins to feel immensely annoying. yeah, sucks. don’t do it.

  • Casey

    Sounds a lot like being on acid. Except that doesn’t kill you.

  • Casey

    Too true

  • anondo

    people can be pretty stupid

  • Jonny

    I once had 3 energy drinks and a few cups of coffee in one day and that was not a fun experience. Symptoms were: sweating, shaking, dehydration, lack of sleep, and way too much energy.

Last Modified: May 25, 2017