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.

References.

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.

Comments

good for you

me i have stop drink caffine drinks for over a year and continueing. but to tell you the truth i still fell like im dieing and i also dont smoke or drink beer or do drugs.

quitting coffee

I used to drink 5 cups a day, then quit cold turkey in January of '08. The withdrawal effects were brutal for about a week. headaches, tiredness, crankiness. Just recently I started drinking coffee again. Big mistake. After about a week of 1 cup a day, I was getting headaches at night. So the decision was to either up the coffee amount (slow stream throughout the day) to keep the headaches at bay, or quit. I've chosen to quit. I'm now in the withdrawal stage. It's been two days, and the headaches are starting to weaken. Coffee just doesn't work for me. I don't seem to have problems with caffeine in chocolate, though.

Third day

I am on the third day of no caffeine. I usually drink 6-8 cans of diet coke a day. I am in hell. My head hurts, I have trouble focusing, I'm tired, irritable and nauseated. How much longer will this last? The up side is the thought of a diet coke makes me want to puke. I have taken 6 ibuprohen tables since last night. Not working really well.

I found that no pain killers

I found that no pain killers were working. A friend suggested a regime of extra strength excedrin... which has caffeine. I took the max daily dose for several days. Then started slowly cutting back the dose.

I am at a week. Still feel

I am at a week. Still feel like my head is about to explode 24/7.

Hi Cindy My thoughts are with

Hi Cindy
My thoughts are with you.
I'm on day 7 from drinking about the same amount of Diet Mt. Dew a day. Part of the day I have no headache, other times I have a DULL headache which I can tolerate. NOT like the first 4 days. I myself cannot wean myself, I don't have the discipline. Cold turkey is the best way but being patient is HARD. I say wait a full week. And ibuprophen doesn't work for me either plus it makes my stomach hurt. TONS of water. Your body will heal!!!! :) Let us know how your doing.
oh yes, and my nausea is gone, HATED that part.

I think your withdrawl will

I think your withdrawl will be less and easier to tolerate if you do a slow weening yourself off of it. If you drink 20 cups a day start at 19 for a week then 18 the next week etc etc so the symptoms aren't as bad. For me I was only having two cups a day so I didn't have anywhere to go really to ween myself off. I've not been able to stop yawning but I've been able to defeat the headache with Ibuprofin. Good luck all.

Caffeine Withdrawal

One symptom that they don't mention very often is depression. I was addicted to caffeine (coke and coffee) and was drinking at least 3 cups/day. When I stopped "cold turkey", I not only experienced headaches and muscle pain, but also went into a deep depression. It also increased my anxiety. All of this was totally under control until I decided to quit the caffeine. I heard about headaches but I never heard about the other symptoms of withdrawal, especially not depression. I want to warn other people about this and suggest that you gradually decrease you caffeine intake instead of quitting cold turkey like I did. If you have ever had issues with depression, anxiety, or OCD be very careful. I would have never believed that the symptoms could be so severe if I hadn't experienced it for myself.

After 48 hours without caffeine, I was crying for no reason and became obsessed with random things (I am too embarrassed to go into further detail). I felt like I was having a psychological breakdown. This is currently the 4th day without caffeine and now the depression is a lot less severe but its still here and I have terrible headaches. I feel like someone is taking a knife and stabbing me in the side of my head. Hopefully this will not last much longer, I can't concentrate on anything and am pretty much useless in this condition. I hope this will help someone else to avoid suffering from withdrawals or even stop someone from starting to drink a lot of caffeinated beverages. Its not worth it. If you are tired, take a nap or go for a walk, get some fresh air, exercise, try anything other than this DRUG!

It comforts me to know that I am not alone

I too have just quit caffeine, 5 days ago to be exact. I am very pleased to know I am not alone in my suffering. I really hope that this (headaches, nausea, aches and pains and sleepiness) is worth the pain and agony I have gone through. I quit because of health issues. My doctor believed that the cysts I had (mamogram) were because of the caffeine. I figured that I drank way too much coffee anyway and I would give quitting it a try. I had no idea that caffeine consumption effects your body in so many negative ways. I now am over the headaches (YEA) but I need to nurse my adrenal glands back to health. I actually started eating breakfast and lunch again, something that I never did for the last 30 years because of drinking so much caffeine every day. I can only hope that each day I get healthier and stronger. Hang in there everyone!

Caffeine withdrawal

This page REALLY helped. I've been having some of the worst symtoms you could have. I had the flu-type symtom (Diarrhea, Migrane, Stomach Ache, Etc.). On a daily basis I consume 1 - 2 cans of Monster (Energy drink) or RedBull. I've been caffeine free for a week now and it's really getting bad... Should I consult a doctor?

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