*Cory Watson Attorneys is no longer accepting Hard Rhino cases.*

Powdered caffeine supplements, like Pure USP Pharma Grade Caffeine Powder from Hard Rhino, have been linked to overdoses and deaths caused by caffeine toxicity.

FDA Issues Advisory

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken notice of online retailers like Hard Rhino who are providing bulk caffeine powder to the public. In an advisory issued July 21, 2014, the FDA recommended that consumers avoid pure caffeine powders for their own safety.

In discussing the drug, the FDA noted that the average household does not have the ability to measure this powder accurately, which could lead to unintentionally fatal doses. It also warned that parents should be aware that teens and younger adults may be tempted by the drug, and could easily overdose.

Like most online retailers, Hard Rhino does not provide a means for age verification over the Internet. Any child or teenager with access to a credit card or PayPal account can quickly and easily order thousands of doses of caffeine for less than $10.

Caffeine by the Numbers

Medical experts agree that adults should limit their caffeine intake to around 400 milligrams (mg) per day. The average cup of coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine, while energy drinks like Red Bull have approximately 80 mg of caffeine per serving. Concentrated energy drinks like 5-hour Energy have over 200 mg of caffeine per serving.

400 mg, or about 4-5 cups of coffee

Daily caffeine limit suggested by medical experts

Online retailers like Hard Rhino sell pure caffeine powder in bulk packages. These packages contain hundreds of servings of caffeine, which must be carefully measured to prevent overdose. For example, Hard Rhino’s website offers pure caffeine powder in packages ranging from 125 grams to 5 kilograms.

In comparison to the 200 mg dose of caffeine found in strongly caffeinated drinks, the 125-gram package would contain 625 doses of 200 mg. The 5 kilogram (11 pound) package would contain over 25,000 servings.

Caffeine Toxicity and Overdose

It is hard to give exact numbers on how much caffeine causes toxicity and death. Some overdoses have been reported after 2 grams of caffeine, though some estimates say it would likely take 5 to 6 grams of caffeine to kill an adult.

Five grams of caffeine is equal to about 25 caffeinated beverages. Most people would never drink this many traditional drinks in one day. However, the concentrated nature of caffeine powder makes an overdose not only possible but likely.

The recommended serving size of caffeine powder is between 50 to 200 mg. This amount is much smaller than the average person can measure using traditional kitchen tools. The powder must be measured using a digital scale for small amounts, or with specialized measuring spoons.

To understand how small these measurements are, understand that 50 mg of pure caffeine translates to approximately 1/64 of a teaspoon. 200 mg is approximately 1/16 of a teaspoon. An entire teaspoon would be the equivalent of 3,200 mg of caffeine or the equivalent of 16 Red Bulls. Two teaspoons, or a tablespoon, or a heaping spoonful measured into a drink could easily cause serious injury or death.

Symptoms of Caffeine Overdose

Many people have experienced the jittery anxiousness that comes after drinking too much coffee. While these feelings will fade with time, a true caffeine overdose may bring frightening symptoms such as:

  • Breathing problems
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Uncontrollable muscle movement
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Death

If you or a loved one begin experiencing the symptoms of caffeine overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

*Cory Watson Attorneys is no longer accepting Hard Rhino cases.*

Hard Rhino is a registered trademark of Guardian Wholesale and is used here only to identify the product in question.

This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with Hard Rhino, Guardian Wholesale, or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.