5-Hour Energy Drink Has Been Cited In 13 Deaths, Banner Health Expert Explains What This Means





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Published on Nov 16, 2012

Video medical expert reacts to 5-hr Energy drinks linked to 13 deaths.


The New York Times has reported that the highly caffeinated 5-hour Energy drink has been linked to 13 deaths and more than 30 life-threatening events, including heart attacks and convulsions.

According to Dr. Frank LoVecchio from Banner Health, 5-hour Energy contains 242 milligrams of caffeine, or the equivalent to the caffeine content of two large cups of coffee. For patients who have high blood pressure, or history of heart attack or heart disease, there is an increased risk associated with caffeine consumption, as one of the side effects of caffeine is narrowing of blood vessels.

Since 2009 there have been 90 FDA filings from patients who have had adverse events associated with the drink. Convulsions, seizures and even miscarriages have been reported. Dr. LoVecchio says it is difficult to determine if 5-hour Energy was the cause of the miscarriages, as 1 in 4 pregnant women miscarry in the United States.

The takeaway message, Dr. LoVecchio says, is to drink caffeine in moderation. He warns too about purchasing energy drinks labeled "caffeine-free," as these beverages often contain naturally occurring caffeine-like substances like Taurine and carry the same risks.

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