FDA Studies Caffeine Powder After Teen's Death
Agency says it might take regulatory action
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2014 1:05 PM CDT
This Jan. 16 photo shows Keystone High School wrestler Logan Stiner, who died after taking caffeine powder.   (Steve Manheim)

(Newser) – A few weeks before their prom king's death, students at an Ohio high school had attended an assembly on narcotics that warned about the dangers of heroin and prescription painkillers. But it was one of the world's most widely accepted drugs that killed Logan Stiner—a powdered form of caffeine so potent that as little as a single teaspoon can be fatal. The teen's sudden death in May has focused attention on the unregulated powder, and the FDA said yesterday that it will consider regulatory action. The agency also cautioned parents that young people could be drawn to it.

An autopsy found that Stiner had a lethal amount of caffeine in his system when he died May 27 at his home in LaGrange, southwest of Cleveland. Stiner, a wrestler, had more than 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his system, as much as 23 times the amount found in a typical coffee or soda drinker. Because it's sold as a dietary supplement, the powder is not subject to the same federal regulations as certain caffeinated foods. Users add it to drinks for a pick-me-up before workouts or to control weight gain. A mere 1/16th of a teaspoon can contain about 200 milligrams of caffeine, roughly the equivalent of two large cups of coffee. That means a heaping teaspoon could kill, says one emergency physician. In fact, "the difference between a safe amount and a lethal dose of caffeine in these powdered products is very small," says an FDA spokesperson.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
FrankFurter
Jul 19, 2014 11:58 PM CDT
You guys are idiots. Go to the pharmacy counter?
BCS
Jul 19, 2014 10:46 PM CDT
At least make people go to the pharmacy counter for it so that they receive a warning ahead of time. I took 12 caffeine pills at once when I was 16, and it was a top 5 worst night of my life. I never have felt so shitty since. My heart was steady at 200bpm for hours. I got them at a gas station, and thought they'd just keep me awake. I also experienced involuntary leg movements, and heart palpitations. The palpitations lasted for days.
FrankFurter
Jul 19, 2014 9:36 PM CDT
Maybe if americas kids were eating real food with nutrients they wouldn't be tired.