Caffeine. One of the most beloved substances in the world today. The positive effects of caffeine are hard to beat: energy and improved awareness. New research is now reporting the beneficial health effects related to caffeine’s antioxidant properties, such as a reduced risk for diabetes. However, as with any substance, too much of a good thing can cause problems. In this cause caffeine can cause a fever.
The studies done of caffeine’s effects on fever are old as dirt. The best I could find was published in a 1972 article of the British Journal of Pharmacology. In this study, researchers gave rats an fever causing endotoxin, or an endotoxin-caffeine combination to determine its affects on fever. Turns out, the rats who received the endotoxin with caffeine had a higher fever. An old 1972 article from Time Magazine cites a study regarding humans who developed a mild fever after receiving a typhoid vaccination. Some were give caffeine and others were only given the vaccine. Those who ingested caffeine had a higher fever.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine also reports that a fever can occur with caffeine intoxication, generally at levels greater than 500 mg, the equivalent of five cups of coffee.
Finally, a case report in the January 2011 edition of the American Academy of Pediatrics presents a 16-year old body who developed drug-related eosinophilia and systemic symptoms, or DRESS syndrome after heavy caffeine intake. Fever, eosinophilia, hepatitis, rash, leukocytosis and lymphadenopathy characterize this condition. He had a history of bipolar disorder and was taking fluoxetine and apiprazole. The combination of high doses of caffeine, in addition to chronic psychogenic medications, may have induced DRESS syndrome.
Recommendation: Stay away from caffeine if you have a fever. Also consider that a high caffeine intake may cause a fever alone, or in combination with various other symptoms.
Have you noticed a rise in temperature with caffeine intake? Share your thoughts below.