What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to adenosine. In response to this oversensitiveness, blood pressure drops dramatically, causing an excess of blood in the head (though not necessarily on the brain), leading to a headache.

This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts from one to five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such as aspirin. It is also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact several analgesics contain caffeine dosages).

Often, people who are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable, unable to work, nervous, restless, and feeling sleepy, as well as having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been reported.


Caffeine and Health. J. E. James, Academic Press, 1991. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research Volume 158. G. A. Spiller, Ed. Alan R. Liss Inc, 1984.



Not sure if this has been posted already, but this is a helpful website. I go back to this every once in a while. Try to navigate through the entire site.


I also recommend the book The Attention Revolution for those whose withdrawal symptoms include major anxiety and other mental shenanigans.

@Anon (60 year habit)

No, I never had those, especially chest pain. The major symptoms I had and the ones I remember most clearly are anxiety, phobias, OCD like behavior, muscle fatigue and brain fog/memory problems. I had other ones as well, but they're petty compared to the ones I just mentioned, such as trembling and shakiness, a ringing sound in my ear, problems with my appetite, etc..

If you're overweight and have a big belly, heart attack/stroke becomes extremely relevant. If not and you're in shape, I'd say it's pretty safe to assume that the chest pain and such are withdrawal symptoms, especially since caffeine was a 60 year habit for you.

Also, heart attack is a symptom of what's about to happen, which is cardiac arrest. People normally complain of chest pain that radiates through their arms and jaw. My auntie was complaining about the pain in her left arm one day and dismissed it as the outcome of having slept wrongly. Turns out she was having a heart attack.

Withdrawal symptoms sucks. I became suicidal at one point (I posted about it here some hundreds of pages back. Around 2010/2011), but I endured it and here I am, literally stoked! =)

Thanks again Jayson, I think

Thanks again Jayson, I think I will assume that it is caffeine wd after reading your post…...

Hi Anon (60 year habit)

Hi there. Glad to hear about your progress!

And yeah, I'm doing really great. I've been caffeine-free since 2011!

I also wanted to say that I chanced upon a scholarly article published by California State University, Long Beach (where I currently attend) about the dangers of caffeine and how it can lead to serious mental illnesses and disorders. I'm gonna try to upload it online and post the link here sometime after finals, as the article was a hardcopy. It's worth a read and definitely will cement your decision of staying caffeine-free.

Amidst my withdrawal symptoms back then, I remember having "OCD" like behavior and thought process. And it went away completely after a couple of years of being caffeine-free. =)

That sounds really

That sounds really interesting, I have read a similar article by Ruth Whalen.

I am interested to know that it took 2 years for your ocd behaviour to go, that gives me even more hope. I had not realised what a negative impact caffeine had had on my mood, because (as I said in my last post) I feel so "well`'now, in spite of all the lingering symptoms.

I had another bout of strange cramps in my legs and feet last night, but they are so much milder now, but it certainly proves to me that my symptoms are still directly related to caffeine withdrawal. I have also developed a sort of mild dry cough and have a feeling of constant inflammation and/or irritation in my lungs, plus chest - do you remember if you had any similar symptoms? (I am worried about heart attack/stroke).

If only I had known what I know now, I would have come off caffeine years and years ago.

I hope your finals go well(what is your subject) and I am so glad you managed to come off caffeine at a early age, your life will be so much better!!!!

Here is the article:Caffeine

Here is the article:
CAFFEINE ALLERGY: Past Disorder or Present Epidemic?
[EDITED to remove probable copyright issue]

Please do not post copyrighted content unless you own the copyri

I heavily redacted the comment above because it appears to be a copy-past from another site. If you want to refer people please use a URL or the title of the article.

Ruth Whalen if you were the poster please accept my apologies and repost. I'll email you to confirm your allowance of the re-post. Based on the original post that didn't appear to be the case.


Daniel Owen

apologies, I misunderstood

apologies, I misunderstood the small print at the end of the article. I have emailed Ruth to apologise and to ask for her permission.

Again, many thanks for this site.

Here is Ruth's answer: Dear

Here is Ruth's answer:

Dear ,

Feel free to post any of my articles. I work for God, not the governments, so I ignore copyright "laws."

Ruth Whalen

Unless you object, I will repost the article, it is such an interesting and important piece of information……...

go ahead and post it

go ahead and post it

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