Around midnight last night I started to have uncontrollable tremors, irritability like I couldn't even stand having my glasses on my face, and couldn't stop pacing. I work at job where I am at a computerized register for several hours at a stretch. The pain in my neck and shoulders can be intense. Yesterday I decided to take Extra Strength Excedrin Migraine. I DID NOT READ THE DIRECTIONS FOR DOSAGE. In the morning I had about 3 cups of coffee and took 2 tabs of Excedrin and went to work. About 4 hours later the pain was still persistent so I took another couple of tabs. During the day I was drinking Mountain Dew. Another 4 hours passed and I still had pain so I took 2 more tabs. I was taking the medication like you would take Tylenol. When I got home from work my neck and shoulders were aching so I took another 2 tabs. About 3 hours later I drank 2 cups of coffee. Around midnight I started to have uncontrollalbe irritability, tremors, muscle spasms, my hands were in spasms, feelings like bugs were crawling over my arms and face, and I couldn't stop pacing. The situation kept getting worse, and by 1:30 I couldn't stand it any longer. I woke up my teenage daughter because I was really scared and didn't know what was happening to me. I do take prescription medication, one of which is xanax. I decided to call Poisin Control thinking I was having some kind of reaction to the xanax even though I've been on this for several years now. The nurse at Poisin Control started asking me what I had ate or drank during the previous 12 hours. After telling her what I had ingested she told me I was having Caffeine Overdose or Caffeine Intoxication. Here are the facts: on average a person ingests about 150 mg. of caffeine in a 12 hour time period. Each Excedrin Migraine tab is like slamming 4 cups of coffee, and so 2 at a time is like slamiing 8. 4 hours later, 8 more cups. The total intake of caffeine I ingested in a 12 hour period was 2400 mg, or the equal of about 32 cups of coffee. I also drank 3 cups of coffee in the morning and 2 cups in the evening. And I drank 4, 12 oz. cups of Mountain Dew. The nurse calculated I had ingested over 2600 mg. of caffeine in a 12 hour period, or 18x the normal in a 12 hour period. I was in a caffeine overdose. At first I started laughing. I mean, who ever heard of overdosing on coffee, right? It was the misuse of the Excedrin, with the high doses of caffeine in each tab, that accounted for the overdose, not the coffee or Mountain Dew. Using the charcoal method for ridding the system of the toxin would not have worked because by that time the caffeine was already absorbed into my system. I asked her how long it would take for my symptoms to stop and she told me 8-12 hours. I have to drink as much water as I can to flush the caffeine out of my system. I have only been able to sleep about 1 and a half hours. The nurse told me that when the caffeine is finally out of system I'm going to be exhausted and will probably sleep for a long time. YOU CAN DIE FROM CAFFEINE OVERDOSE IF YOU ARE A HEART PATIENT OR HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE ACCORDING TO POISIN CONTROL. I called into work to say I wasn't coming in. I felt like a fool telling them I was having a caffeine overdose. Hopefully they'll understand when I go into work tomorrow and am more able to explain what happened. I guess the moral is to read even the over-the-counter medication dosage instructions on the side of the bottle.
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