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 haven't been on here for a while and haven't been reading the posts. My motivation for looking at this sight everyday disappeared when my withdrawal symptoms disappeared. I'm just posting a comment to say that I'm still caffeine free. The first 6 months were hell. Months 7 and 8 were much better. Months 9 and 10 were absolutely symptom free with no relapses. I only drank coffee for 6 years, so I'm guessing that's why I recovered quicker than 60 Year Habit. For anyone suffering through the withdrawal symptoms, I just want you to know it does get better. Hang in there and the effort is worth it.

I recently suffered through 4 weeks of ear infections that greatly interfered in my ability to sleep much. I might have gotten 3 hours per night, but still resisted caffeine during the day. For the most part, I was able to stay awake fairly easily despite having no sleep and not drinking caffeine. I'm sure it would have been very difficult if I was still trying to break my addiction.

Having said all of that, I do still find myself tempted occasionally to have just a little caffeine, but then remind myself of the torture of coming off of it. I feel like I'm in AA and just taking it one day at a time. It's not as bad as that, but there is similarity.

Hang in there everyone!!

rob here is an answer to your query

from yet another blog "how to go caffeine-free and beat the hellish withdrawals"

'Sean, Today, I gave up. I gave up to a cup of tea because I couldn’t take it any more but after drinking the cup of tea rather strange thing happened. I had the worst experience of my life. After 2 hours of drinking I thought, I should be able to feel like I used to feel before on caffeine but this was not the case, my heart starting pumping very fast, I thought I would die on the spot and my eyes started twitching also. Both of these symptoms happens when the intake of caffeine is too much but I only drank a cup. So, overall I still feel shitty and emotionless after drinking a cup.
You mentioned you gave in to coffee couple of times during withdrawal. Did you felt like before after drinking or you still felt the same ? Also, how far you were in withdrawal when you gave up ? Did your eyes twitched like crazy during the withdrawal. The reason I’m so paranoid because what if this is permanent.
You’ve been of so much help.
Thanks bud.'
this blog states that withdrawals from caffeine usually go on for months, not days.

hope this helps


Thanks 60YH. I'm still drinking coffee, but not a huge amount - about 2/3 cups of strong black coffee a day. I've never drunk huge amounts, but even this fairly small amount doesn't make me feel good. I guess maybe I’m allergic to it – I don’t know how I’d prove it, but after many years of using it, I think I’ve (finally) proved to myself that caffeine and I are not a good combination. I am however addicted to caffeine – if I don’t use it I feel bad, so I rationalise and find reasons to keep drinking it to avoid withdrawal. I've been here lots of times before (not just with caffeine) and I know the answer. I simply have to stop.

In my experience, although tapering makes logical sense and sounds like a good way to go, I never stick with the taper plan. I start with good intentions, but once I’ve had any caffeine, I persuade myself that I may as well have a coffee and that I’ll give up tomorrow. This cycle repeats endlessly, for literally years. The only way that has ever worked for me is to just stop “cold turkey”. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, you stop doing something by stopping it. The only way out is through.

So tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll drink coffee but then stop all caffeine from Wednesday. No coffee, no tea, no caffeinated soft drinks or chocolate. I know what is going to happen and how I’m going to feel (I’ve done it enough times before to know…) but I’m just going to have to accept it and wait for it to pass. My experience has shown that it will; while there are lingering withdrawal symptoms, I’ve found the nastiest, immediate ones only last a few days. I’ve decided to write the week off from Wednesday – I don’t care if I get nothing done, as long as I stop caffeine.

"Allergy-type addiction is

"Allergy-type addiction is also fairly common, especially with coffee, but also with tea, chocolate, and cola. With allergy, withdrawal from the substance may lead to even worse symptoms."


Hmmm... I'm not sure exactly what you mean with that quote 60 Year Habit. I recently had a severe allergic reaction for the first time ever to Neosporin and Neomycin ear drops. Both contain Neomycin. I didn't really think about a possible connection, but is this possibly connected to what you are saying? It's kind of hard to prove in my case since I'm not experiencing caffeine withdrawal symptoms any longer. However, I've never really used Neosporin or Neomycin in my life until now, so it may just be a coincidence. It's just that I've never been allergic to anything before until now.

from caffeine informer posted today

"mirandarichards75 • 15 hours ago
I am sensitive to large amounts of caffeine in any form, but particularly from coffee, much more so than tea. I drank a strong cup of coffee before a hike last week and thought I was having a heart attack: MAJOR heart palpitations, a feeling of impending doom and anxiety, racing thoughts. Coffee also gives me a mild form of OCD: sometimes I won't be able to stop what I'm doing or parlay into the next task. This only happens with coffee and not with tea. Also coffee causes facial numbness, and a worsening of a drooping of one side of my face (I have had an MRI, no stroke, Lyme or MS). So basically, coffee is bad news for me!"

I copied and pasted te last

I copied and pasted te last post "I used to be a really happy" etc. from another caffeine site, and I did it in such a hurry last night (I have been having problems with my broadband disappearing), that I didn't make that clear with quotes around it.
so I want to make it clear that it isn't a recent post , it was made about 5 years ago, and I have lost the link, but I was so relieved to read that I am not the only person experiencing weird OCD symptoms (even though I have only had them since I came off caffeine, and she had them whilst she was on it), that I had to paste it somewhere, and on this site is the best place for all this info. Her description of her discomfort and mood describes me exactly at the moment.

Apologies for any confusion.

I used to be a really happy

I used to be a really happy girl. Never cared too too much about my weight, working out too much. I wasnt fat or anything but i was just happy and my body wasnt on my mind much. Then my dad started bringing a bunch of diet coke home...

I used to haaaate dieet soda. But the more I consumed it, just cause it was there, I started to notice i always got really happy when i had it. I would feel ambitious, hyper, excited.

But since then its been about a year and im totally different. Since those times, I've become OCD about my bod, cant have certain parts touching, cant stand to wear clothes, hate the way my legs feel when i sleep, stare in the mirror and obsess over really...really stupid things that deep down i know arent really real, but yet i cant stop myself from caring and getting really unbearably irritable about it.

And things like when my boyfriend is a minte late, i freak out. When he leaves town i freak out. If he says something the slightest bit weird i flip out, and he makes me feel annoyed when i know he isnt even being annoying, and it makes me sad because i love him and i dont want to be a crazy lady. I hate to hurt his feelings. I just cant control it.

Im only 20, i should be happy. not irritable, over-emotional, ocd, wacko.

Is this caffeine? I have about two a day. My gut tells me it is but im just wondering if anyone knows about it. I wanna get back to my old self,

Hello Jackie and Rob, well I

Hello Jackie and Rob, well I stumped off to buy some teabags, and I noticed how the frost was glittering in the sunshine, which for some strange reason cheered me up, then I remembered a letter which I cannot copy and paste but I will try and post a link, the letter is to a "Friend" from "withdrawal symptoms" and I found it on another site devoted to another drug, but it really helped me. My mood suddenly changed (for a while) the very next day, but I am back cursing and swearing today….

Now I will try and post the link from a website called Recovery Road.http://d2vqx76lplv3ab.cloudfront.net/9c/25/i99820956._szw1280h1280_.jpg

please dont get discouraged You will do it when you are ready.

Thanks so much for posting to me

its so strange because i am not depressed, just always angry and irritable…… weird

and as for the backache and GI probs…...


So glad you had some help, even as you were going to the shops! Sometimes, just getting outside, even it's freezing cold, will lift your mood. I'll look at that letter when I've got a bit more time, thanks.
You've told me about how demanding your life is (like mine, so I do understand) and I wondered if you ever get any time to yourself? Sometimes, when I feel like I'm ALWAYS in demand - looking after absolutely everyone, with no time at all - I get very stressed - then irritable - then angry. When life is putting too many pressures on us, we do get frustrated and angry. That's why my time in the morning is so important to me. Anyway, try to have some time to yourself is the only thing I can come up with.

Update: I think my desire for coffee is finally waning. I woke up this morning and DIDN'T WANT ANY!!!! Hurrah! I still wanted a comforting milky drink so had a grain 'coffee' (Whole Earth's No-Caf - it's very good). I've noticed I've been sleeping a lot better, too, since I've been cutting down even more (albeit with the odd bad day). Had about 8 hours last night - which is a record for me (since I was a teenager!) Also, just the one milky drink is sufficient - later, I either have Redbush tea or fresh ginger tea (which I've taken quite a liking to). Diet is very good - and really enjoying it. For the first time, I'm genuinely looking forward to the spring /summer and a caffeine -free life. It feels good to be posting, here, without caffeine in my system (only had decaf yesterday).

Well, so glad you didn't have any. If you need to vent on here, any time, just do it. I look most days and will reply if you need a bit of support.

Hope everyone else is doing OK - Rob, Mandy, Sarah - and everyone. TC Jackie

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