With its presence in everyday drinks like tea and lattes, we often think of caffeine as fairly harmless. However, it is possible to overload on caffeine just like any other stimulant. In the milder stages, this can just cause headaches, insomnia, jitteriness, and irritability. Adults can reach this stage if they have over four hundred milligrams a day, or four cups of coffee, while teens can reach this state when they consume more than two hundred milligrams a day. However, individuals who consume a truly excessive amount of caffeine a day can suffer from potentially fatal overloads, characterized by vomiting, rapid breathing, confusion, uncontrollable muscle movements, irregular heartbeats, clammy skin, loss of consciousness, chest pain, and convulsions. Therefore it is important to seek medical treatment quickly if caffeine overload is suspected.
Ingest Activated Charcoal
This is a treatment for individuals in the medically dangerous stage of caffeine overload. It involves taking repeated doses of a special type of charcoal that can bind with the caffeine and keep the body from absorbing it. Since this treatment works by keeping the caffeine from getting into the patient's system, it is only effective for a short period just after the caffeine overload. Doctors may get patients to ingest activated charcoal to absorb caffeine in either the stomach or bowels. Typically, the powdered charcoal is mixed with a liquid and given to patients as a drink, though in some cases, it can be administered through a feeding tube. Activated charcoal is also available in pill form, but this is not often used in cases of caffeine overload because patients would have to swallow an unpleasantly high volume of pills to deal with the issue.