Functional Consequences of Caffeine Withdrawal

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can vary from mild to extreme, at times causing functional impairment in normal daily activities. Rates of functional impairment in studies conducted largely in the United States range from 10% to 55% (median 13%) , with rates as high as 73% found among individuals who also show other problematic features of caffeine use. Examples of functional impairment include being unable to work, exercise, or care for children; staying in bed all day; missing religious services; ending a vacation early; and canceling a social gathering. Caffeine withdrawal headaches may be described by individuals as “the worst headaches” ever experienced. Decrements in cognitive and motor performance have also been observed.

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