What does fact checked mean?
At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
Most people consider caffeine to be a relatively harmless drug. In fact, many people might not even consider caffeine to be a drug at all. However, caffeine can cause a host of mental and physical problems when consumed in excess. According to a review published in 2005 in the journal "Advances in Psychiatric Treatment," most practitioners don't ask about caffeine intake when performing psychiatric assessments, despite the fact that caffeine may exacerbate psychotic and other psychiatric symptoms 3.
Schizophrenia is a chronic, debilitating mental health disorder that affects around 2.4 million Americans, according to the 2005 National Comorbidity Survey-Replication 1. Symptoms of schizophrenia can range from mild to severe, involving delusions and hallucinations 1. People with schizophrenia generally suffer from thought disorder, meaning that they have trouble organizing and putting their thoughts into words 1. They also tend to exhibit inappropriate, child-like behaviors or extreme agitation, and often withdraw socially. Schizophrenia also causes emotional flatness, meaning that patients have little or no interest in regular activities 1. People with schizophrenia may neglect personal hygiene, forgetting to shower or bathe for days or weeks 1. Sometimes, schizophrenia can result in symptoms of depression or mood swings 1. Because it is a chronic, incurable disease, patients must rely on medication for symptom relief and management. However, many patients do not want to take medication because of their serious, although rare, side effects. Psychotherapy and social interventions may also be beneficial for schizophrenics.
- Schizophrenia is a chronic, debilitating mental health disorder that affects around 2.4 million Americans, according to the 2005 National Comorbidity Survey-Replication 1.
- However, many patients do not want to take medication because of their serious, although rare, side effects.
Effects of Caffeine
Drug Interaction Between Lithium and Caffeine
For most people, a moderate intake of caffeine is generally considered safe. According to Teen's Health, this means an intake of around 200 to 300 mg of caffeine daily 2. An average cup of coffee contains around 115 mg of caffeine. In moderate amounts, caffeine may help alleviate mental fatigue and provide a brief energy boost. Ingesting too much caffeine can lead to a condition known as caffeinism. This does not imply that caffeine causes schizophrenia but merely suggests that ingesting too much caffeine may trigger or worsen certain symptoms 1.
Several clinical studies have shown that increased caffeine consumption can exacerbate schizophrenic symptoms. A case study published in the September 1978 issue of the "Journal of Clinical Psychiatry" showed that increased caffeine consumption caused a significant increase in schizophrenic symptoms. Another study, published in the July 1990 issue of the journal "Biological Psychiatry" confirmed that, when compared with a placebo, caffeine caused a significant increase in manic symptoms, thought disorder, unusual thought content and euphoria-activation in schizophrenic patients 4.cause:
- Another study
- published in the July 1990 issue of the journal "Biological Psychiatry" confirmed that
- when compared with a placebo
- caffeine caused a significant increase in manic symptoms
- thought disorder
- unusual thought content
- euphoria-activation in schizophrenic patients (https://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/0006-3223(90)90429-6/abstract 'inline-reference::"Biological Psychiatry"; Effects of the Acute Administration of Caffeine..."; P
LUcas; July 1990'). Additionally, a study published in the September 2006 issue of "Schizophrenia Research" confirmed that people with schizophrenia smoke more and have a higher intake of caffeine when compared with the general U.S. population 12.
- Several clinical studies have shown that increased caffeine consumption can exacerbate schizophrenic symptoms.
- A case study published in the September 1978 issue of the "Journal of Clinical Psychiatry" showed that increased caffeine consumption caused a significant increase in schizophrenic symptoms.
Congestive Heart Failure & Caffeine
While caffeine may increase schizophrenic symptoms, it is interesting to note the high number of schizophrenics who rely heavily on caffeine. A review published in the November 1998 issue of "Psychiatric Services," a journal of the American Psychiatric Association, suggests that schizophrenic patients may use high levels of caffeine in an attempt to self-medicate or alleviate boredom. The authors also state that patients may use caffeine to combat the sedative effects of certain medications. Additionally, they point out that many schizophrenics smoke. As smoking causes an increased elimination of caffeine, schizophrenics may require increasingly higher amounts of caffeine to achieve the same effects. The authors of the study published in "Schizophrenia Research" suggest that clinicians should employ lifestyle modification counseling in addition to other treatment modalities when working with patients with schizophrenia to address smoking and caffeine intake 1.
- While caffeine may increase schizophrenic symptoms, it is interesting to note the high number of schizophrenics who rely heavily on caffeine.
- A review published in the November 1998 issue of "Psychiatric Services," a journal of the American Psychiatric Association, suggests that schizophrenic patients may use high levels of caffeine in an attempt to self-medicate or alleviate boredom.
Drug Interaction Between Lithium and Caffeine
Congestive Heart Failure & Caffeine
Can Caffeine Cause Ringing in the Ears?
Seroquel & Caffeine
What Are the Dangers of Caffeine Abuse?
Ritalin and Metabolism
The Effects of Caffeine on Medication for ADD
Gabapentin & Caffeine
Caffeine Headache Symptoms
Alternatives to Adderall for Fatigue
- NIH Fact Sheets: Schizophrenia
- Teen's Health: Caffeine
- "Advances in Psychiatric Treatment"; Neuropsychiatric Effects of Caffeine; A. Winston et al.; 2005
- "Biological Psychiatry"; Effects of the Acute Administration of Caffeine..."; P. LUcas; July 1990
- Meredith SE, Juliano LM, Hughes JR, Griffiths RR. Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda. J Caffeine Res. 2013;3(3):114-130. doi:10.1089/jcr.2013.0016
- Richards G, Smith AP. A Review of Energy Drinks and Mental Health, with a Focus on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression. J Caffeine Res. 2016;6(2):49-63. doi:10.1089/jcr.2015.0033
- Brunyé TT, Mahoney CR, Rapp DN, Ditman T, Taylor HA. Caffeine enhances real-world language processing: evidence from a proofreading task. J Exp Psychol Appl. 2012;18(1):95-108. doi:10.1037/a0025851
- Koppelstaetter F, Poeppel TD, Siedentopf CM, et al. Caffeine and cognition in functional magnetic resonance imaging. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S71-84. doi:10.3233/JAD-2010-1417
- Harrell PT, Juliano LM. Caffeine expectancies influence the subjective and behavioral effects of caffeine. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009;207(2):335-42. doi:10.1007/s00213-009-1658-5
- Lucas M, O'reilly EJ, Pan A, et al. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of completed suicide: results from three prospective cohorts of American adults. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2014;15(5):377-86. doi:10.3109/15622975.2013.795243
- Abdel-Hady H, Nasef N, Shabaan AE, Nour I. Caffeine therapy in preterm infants. World J Clin Pediatr. 2015;4(4):81-93. doi:10.5409/wjcp.v4.i4.81
- American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th edition. Washington DC; 2013.
- Turnbull D, Rodricks JV, Mariano GF, Chowdhury F. Caffeine and cardiovascular health. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017;89:165-185. doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2017.07.025
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol and Caffeine. Updated October 23, 2018.
- Alsunni AA. Energy Drink Consumption: Beneficial and Adverse Health Effects. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2015;9(4):468-474.
- Lyngsø J, Ramlau-Hansen CH, Bay B, Ingerslev HJ, Hulman A, Kesmodel US. Association between coffee or caffeine consumption and fecundity and fertility: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Clin Epidemiol. 2017;9:699-719. doi:10.2147/CLEP.S146496
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pure and Highly Concentrated Caffeine. Updated September 21, 2018.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Updated July 2018.
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.