1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.

Teenager Suffers Seizure, Mountain Dew To Blame

By torachi, May 31, 2011 | Updated: May 31, 2011 | | |
  1. torachi
    15827.jpg A teenager suffered a seizure and popular soda Mountain Dew is to blame, according to Dr. Holly Benjamin from the American Academy of Pediatrics. How can a soda, though filled with sugars and caffeine, cause a teenage boy to suffer a seizure?

    According to the reports, the boy suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD, and was taking a stimulant medication for that condition. Dr. Benjamin believes that the added caffeine in the citrus-flavored Mountain Dew pushed the boy's body to the brink and caused him to start convulsing. Though it is rare for the body to suffer a seizure after drinking a soda or energy drink, it can happen, especially if the drinker is on medication that may interact with the caffeine or other stimulants in the drink.

    There has been a national debate over this issue recently, and parents, doctors and even lawmakers found themselves concerned about the effects that energy drinks and sugar-laden sodas have on children.

    While there are more studies being conducted, it is important to keep an eye on your child, and what he or she drinks. The caffeine levels in a Red Bull, for instance, are equivalent to that of a cup of coffee, according to the company. So, while drinking Red Bull and other energy-enhancing drinks are all the rage among children and teens, they are not too healthy and in some cases, can have adverse effects.


    15827.jpg A 15-year-old boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has suffered a seizure after drinking two 24-ounce bottles of decaffeinated soft drink Mountain Dew.

    Dr Holly Benjamin, of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told how she recently saw the teenager seek hospital treatment. The boy was already taking stimulant ADHD medication, and the extra caffeine in principle might have pushed him over the edge, she said. The incident occurred in the wake of a national debate over energy drinks, which experts fear may have side effects.

    Benjamin declined to reveal the name of the patient, whose condition had not been released at press time. However, she she joins a large group of American doctors urging kids and teens to avoid energy drinks and only consume sports drinks in limited amount.

    Benjamin, who worked on a new report published in the journal Pediatrics, explained: 'Children never need energy drinks. They contain caffeine and other stimulant substances that aren't nutritional, so you don't need them.'
    And kids might be more vulnerable to the contents of energy drinks than grown-ups.

    She continued: 'If you drink them on a regular basis, it stresses the body. You don't really want to stress the body of a person that's growing.'

    For the new recommendations, researchers went through earlier studies and reports on both energy drinks and sports drinks, which don't contain any stimulants.

    They note that energy drinks contain a jumble of ingredients - including vitamins and herbal extracts - with possible side effects that aren't always well understood.

    While there aren't many documented cases of harm directly linked to the beverages, stimulants can disturb the heart's rhythm and may lead to seizures in very rare cases, Benjamin said.

    'You just never know,' she said. 'It's definitely a concern.' Earlier this year, Pediatrics published another review of the literature on energy drinks.

    In it, Florida paediatricians described cases of seizures, delusions, heart problems and kidney or liver damage in people who had drunk one or more non-alcoholic energy drinks - including brands like Red Bull, Spike Shooter and Redline.

    While they acknowledged that such cases are very rare, and can't be conclusively linked to the drinks, they urged caution, especially in kids with medical conditions.

    U.S. sales of non-alcoholic energy drinks are expected to hit $9 billion this year, with children and young adults accounting for half the market.
    Manufacturers claim their products will enhance both mental and physical performance, and were quick to downplay the February report.

    Red Bull said in a statement to Reuters Health: 'The effects of caffeine are well-known and as an 8.4 oz can of Red Bull contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (80 mg), it should be treated accordingly.'

    15827.jpg Benjamin said that for most kids, water is the best thing to quench their thirst. If they happen to be young athletes training hard, a sports drink might be helpful, too, because it contains sugar.

    But for kids who lead less-active lives, sports and energy drinks might just serve to pile on extra pounds, fuelling the national obesity epidemic.
    While she acknowledged that more research is needed, Benjamin said the safest thing to drink is water.



  1. kailey_elise
    Typo, much?

    I dunno what they expect to happen; even if they wanted to limit the amount of caffeine in sodas or whatever, as stated above the kid drank 2 bottles (where do they sell 24oz bottles? I've only seen 20oz & 16.9oz bottles). People, kids included, will just drink more.

    I started every morning between 6th and 8th grades with a large Dunkin' Donuts coffee, a bottle of Jolt soda (or Coca-Cola if they were out of Jolt) and some large amount of candy that was no more than sugar & citric acid (Pixie Stix or Lik-A-Maid). Plus the additional bottle or two of Coca-Cola over the course of the school day.

    Heh, maybe if they'd actually been treating my ADHD with stimulants, I wouldn't have needed all that. ;)

    I feel bad, but I'm also fairly sure that they probably did NOT warn the kid or parents about mixing caffeine with Ritalin (methylphenidate) or Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts). As people with ADHD can take stimulants and feel paradoxically tired (esp when they're used to their dose), I hope doctors make certain to mention that they should be careful of mixing their meds with ANY other stimulant, including something as "benign" as caffeine!

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!