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Classification: Stimulant

Active Compound: Caffeine / trimethylxanthine

Found in: Coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, energy drinks, over-the-counter pain relievers, over-the-counter stimulants, prescription medication

Mode of Consumption: Ingestion

DEA Scheduling/Legal Status (in US): Unscheduled


Increased alertness, mild euphoria, increased heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, increased breathing rate, acts as diuretic


Physiological dependence, panic attacks, nervousness, irritability, anxiety, tremulousness, muscle twitching (hyperreflexia), insomnia, headaches, respiratory alkalosis, heart palpitations

Dangerous Drug Combinations:

Should be avoided if taking other stimulants, cold medicines containing phenylpropanolamine/norephedrine, or antidepressants that are MAO inhibitors (eg. Marplan, Nardil, Parnate).

Special Considerations:

Can be used as a performance-enhancing drug.

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Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (Third Edition), by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson. Published 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), part of the U.S. Department of Justice.



Erowid Organization


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