Can Caffeine Cause Seizures in Epileptics

The most popular central nervous system (CNS) stimulant is caffeine. Antiepileptic medications (AEDs) and caffeine have a complicated and poorly understood interaction with seizures, epilepsy, and other related conditions.

Case studies indicate that caffeine can cause seizures in persons who are prone to them. In both animal and human studies, coffee, seizures, and medications have all been studied in relation to one another.

Energy drinks are popular among consumers. In reality, between 30 and 70 percent of persons are considered frequent users. Energy drinks can be great for giving you a caffeine boost and some quick energy when you need it most, especially if you don’t drink coffee.

Can a seizure be caused by energy drinks?

Numerous reports of incidents of seizures occurring after eating energy drinks have been made, and numerous investigations are being done to determine the cause.

Although there is a lot of anecdotal data to support the hypothesis, there isn’t any conclusive proof that energy drinks actually cause seizures.

It’s important to note that in some of these situations, seizures have apparently happened in individuals with no prior history.

Large levels of sugar and caffeine, both of which are stimulants and are known to be possible seizure triggers, are found in energy drinks.

The average energy drink really contains more caffeine than a potent cup of coffee, according to a study from the University of Texas Medical School.

When ingested in big quantities, these components, along with a variety of others including taurine, guarana, and amino acids, can have a variety of negative side effects on the body, including the brain. 

Causative effects of caffeine

The most extensively used psychoactive substance in the world is allegedly caffeine. Worldwide, some 1.6 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day, according to the International Coffee Organisation.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the average daily intake of caffeine in the United States is about 300 mg/person/day, or about 2-4 cups of coffee. This is thought to be mild. The following are a few of the more harmful impacts of excessive caffeine use:

  • Caffeine use of more than 500–600 mg/d might result in insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, dyspepsia, an accelerated heart rate, and trembling of the muscles.
  • Caffeine may cause blood pressure to rise, particularly in hypertensives and people who don’t typically drink it.
  • Women who consume between 31 and 250 mg per day may have a modestly elevated (1.5-fold) chance of developing fibrocystic breast disease. Cyst development probabilities increased 2.3-fold in those who consumed more alcohol than 500 mg per day.
  • Women who drink a lot of coffee have a 70% higher risk of developing incontinence. Caffeine interferes with ossification, which can increase the risk of bone fractures.
  • Researchers from the Mayo Clinic discovered that males who consumed more than four cups of coffee per day had a 21% higher chance of dying from all causes than those who didn’t drink coffee.

Additionally, they discovered that heavy coffee drinkers, both men and women, were more likely to smoke and have poor physical health. The ancient saying “Everything in moderation” might be the best strategy for caffeine consumption in light of the studies.

Caffeine and epilepsy

The benefits and drawbacks of caffeine consumption in general as well as the cause-and-effect link between caffeine and epileptic seizures have been hotly contested for a long time.

In addition to stimulating certain regions of the autonomic nervous system, caffeine prevents drowsiness by inhibiting the effect of the drowsiness hormone adenosine.

In the form of coffee, soda, and energy drinks, caffeine is consumed everyday by many Americans. This comprises 80% of those who have epilepsy.

Because caffeine increases brain activity, scientists have long wondered if it can cause epileptic seizures.

Adenosine is a hormone found in all human cells that has received the majority of attention in scientific studies on coffee and epilepsy. Adenosine surges during epileptic convulsions make people feel sleepy.

However, caffeine inhibits adenosine while also stimulating certain parts of the autonomic nervous system, which increases alertness.


Researchers discovered proof that coffee appears to reduce the effectiveness of a number of medications, including topiramate, in animal models.

They came to the conclusion that patients with epilepsy who are attempting to acquire and maintain seizure control should carefully assess their coffee intake.

A part might be played by the liver and the body’s metabolism. Even the amount of sugar and cream in a cup of coffee could have an impact.

Larger factors may even include the region where the coffee was consumed, the degree of roast, and the chemistry of the beverage.