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.



I'm quitting Pepsi, my lifelong mistress, and this is only days one. I'm going cold turkey, just water, no juices or weaning. I'm not expecting the bouts of depression but I'm curious to see just how long these withdrawal symptoms will last.
Some background: I'm twenty-two years old, have been drinking Pepsi since childhood, about 2 or 3 years old. I grew up in a Pepsi household since my mom was raised on Pepsi as well, so it was just THE drink. Growing I drank little water. What water I did get was from Pepsi, or school water fountains. I never drank water bottles or went out of my way to pour a glass. If a glass was filled, it was with - you guessed it - Pepsi. So here I am today (or, rather, yesterday) drinking roughly two 2 Litre bottles a day, or about ten cans a day, give or take a couple. This is roughly 1600 calories a day, 48,000 calories a month. That's 13.7 pounds of body fat a month. I'm REALLY hoping that my body will recognize the mathematic defficiency in calories as I have and shed some of these pounds :) I don't even WANT to imagine how much caffeine and/or sugar because I don't want to know what damage I've done to my body. I'm just hoping that biology and nature is on my side and I can repair any harm with time.
One thing I'm curious about; my demeanor. I was a quiet kid, not over-active, and I've always had a calm, focused mind; never scattered, never racing, never had a snappy or irritable attitude (one of those super optimistic people that makes you sick.) So will I just get completely lethargic?
Well I'll let you all know how it went. I'm hoping that I can be a success story like the people on these responses that have inspired me! Thank you all for the stories and experiences :)

This explains a lot, I was on

This explains a lot, I was on fat burners for about a month so I was consuming around 1000 mg of caffeine a day.  When I stopped taking them I thought I had a really terrible cold/flu.  My whole body felt week and all my muscles were tense, not to mention a terrible headache.  It's been about 5 days now and I feel a whole lot better. 

wow so thats why i have been feeling like crap..!

I left caffeine for lent expecting it to be easier than leaving cigarettes or pot.. but come to find out it's not easy at all.. and to top it off i just started a new job and i'm working 10hr shifts.. I actually had a dream i was drinking a coke a cola last night.. that's when i got worried and googled my question. unexpectadly i realized alot of the problems i have been having are all caused from caffeine withdraw.. i thought i had the flu or a cold.. answer to that caffeine withdraw.. my head has been pounding non stop.. agen caffeine withdrawl.. can't sleep at night but like 3 hrs at a time.. caffeine withdraw.. my muscles and bones hurt as if i have a fever.. caffeine withdraw.. i been feeling depressed and just out of it like im in a dream.. caffeine withdraw.. i'm super irritable.. caffeine withdrawl.. 0mg i really cant wait till my 40 days are done.. i really always thought it was a myth.. well my mother basically brought me up thinking that.. to her its ok to give kids coffee or coke.. or even red bull at times.. when i would tell her not to she would reply.. "that's a myth" lol.. wow.. i'm glad i googled.. now i noe not to ever introduce that drug to my kids


Hang in there i quit drinking caffeine in jan after drinking it heavy since i was 16 and im29 now.I also had the flu symptoms and the muscle pains also.But the hard part is getting used to my relaxed mind because caffeine kept my mind racing and alert.First please exercise,eat good and meditate and right it out you will be okay remember your brain has been altered and it has to get back right so dont let this mess scare you our bodys are stronngggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg just relax and it will pass.

Well said, Eddie.

Well said, Eddie.

Agreed, very well said.  I am

Agreed, very well said.  I am on day 2 of quitting caffeine for like the third time, and I am already feeling the full effects minus the headache (thank God).  I slept for about 11 hours and am still groggy and feel very unmotivated, lethargic, and basically really irritable.  Thanks for the encouragement.


Thank goodness i'm not going crazy, I really thought I was. Having frequent headaches, the insomnia is HORRIBLE. I would cry and ball my eyes out to my parents cause I felt like i'd never be able to sleep again, the anxiety is extreme at time. Being around my mom and dad help me to calm down alot, gives me comfort. I'm having some muscle twitches at times, pressure in my head. The depression is there also, hopefully I can get over this completely. At time I feel like I couldnt breath correctly and just felt on the edge of having a panic attack. Again, it's good to know i'm not the only one. Goodluck everyone, thanks for the post made me feel tons better. Wish I never had started drinking the stuff now :(

Hang in there, it will get

Hang in there, it will get better! I had all the symptoms you had, it seems like the only real cure is TIME. I wanted to be around my parents as well and I would cry over the smallest stuff. Just keep telling yourself you aren't going crazy, its just the withdrawals. Give it 2 months and you will start to feel better. I am about 2.5weeks in and I feel quite a bit better although the anxiety and depression have yet to totally leave me alone.

Been a month and not feelin betterrrr :/

Hi, Its been a month now since ive been feeling as these symptons. I wasnt a caffeine addict but i did drink quiet a lot of caffeine every day for like a month. I had a panic attack the second i finished drinking an energy drink and thats when the hell began.

I feel dizzy, unbalanced, anxiety/panic attacks, feeling unreal/foggy headed, no headaches just mostly tired and really lazy.

Its been a month now and i dont seem to be getting better, i feel depressed at times and i cant seem to be alone, i have to have someone with me !

Ive had ECG exams and blood tests done and everything fine.

I find it weird how after a month i aint feeling better and im really scared because i dont know what to do, the worst for me is the anxiety + really foggyheaded and unreal with the world.

I also am a smoker.. could that be the problem leading to me not feeling better?

Also my nails have turned into a darker pink/purple color but people tell me thats normal.

My eyes are always blury, i cant look at something bright other wise my eye goes all funny :S :(

IS this caffeine withdrawal ? And what do i need to doo....

how are you now

How are going now? Are you improving at all?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.