Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Ritalin caused sudden caffeine sensitivity? Interesting story...

My name is Justin and I'm 20 years old.  For my entire conscious life I could drink an infinite amount of coffee or energy drinks with out feeling anything more than a slight buzz.  Nothing uncomfortable about it, ever.  I would literally joke about it stating how I could drink a gallon of coffee or multiple large size red bulls and easily go to sleep right after.  Now to my problem...
  In high school it wasn't uncommon for kids to take adderrall (without a prescription) for times when there was a lot of work that needed to be done.  Well that habit kind of stuck with me now out of school. It was never a problem (as far as addiction) but in times of great stress or when a lot of work needed to be done I would take 30-60mg that day.  Well about a month ago, I was on an overnight sleeping schedule and I needed to be on a day time schedule.  Since going to sleep earlier wasn't working I decided to stay up through the entire next day and go to bed that night at a reasonable time.  The last time I had wanted adderrall all I could get my hands on was Ritalin, which is from what I was told was pretty much the same as adderrall, as well as similar dosages.  When I took the 40mg ritalin I concluded that it was pretty much equivalent to a 30mg adderrall.  So anyway back to that night!
  I decided I was going to need help staying up for that long, I took two of the 40mg Ritalin.  These alone would have probably been fine, but I made a foolish mistake afterward.  Monster creates an industrial size can (slight exaggeration but it is huge) that I was used to drinking every now and then.  I bought three of them in planning on also helping me to stay up.  This may sound foolish to someone who knows they have to limit themselves on caffeine, but like I said, I never noticed any effects from drinking caffeine in excess.  Upon getting 2 1/2 of those cans down my world crashed.  I suddenly felt like I was dieing! I was panicking, pacing around my house and outside.  I was trying to make myself throw up because it was the only thing I could think of in my mind that might stop my heart from feeling like it was failing and pounding out of my chest.  Of course at this point I had no idea that it was only the beginning!  This horrible feeling lasted for almost 2 hours.  At its worst, I was on the ground physically unable to move.  My hands and feet were numb and I thought that for certain I was dead (especially since I couldnt even get up to get the phone).  For hours after this episode I still had trouble walking.
   People tell me I should have went to the hospital, but I would never want my family to think I was taking prescription drugs, or assuming that I had a problem with them which they probably would.  Also, we dont have health insurance and are struggling enough as is.  An ambulance ride and treatment would have cost thousands of dollars.  Anyway, for a while I was convinced what I had was a heart attack.  Turns out almost every single symptom of a heart attack correlates with the symptoms of a panic attack (Weird isn't it? Check it out).  Since Ritalin is known to cause panic attacks in higher dosages I'm convinced that it is more likely this is what happened.
  Finally, to the point of this topic.  Since then when I drink a single cup of coffee I feel extremely anxious, occasionally with feeling my heart race but always with a heavier chest.  I race mentally and I find myself panicking over the silliest things.  I also feel the need to limit myself like "whoa, I definitely can't drink another coffee!".  I never had this feeling before ever, and now I cant even comfortably drink more than one cup.  Reading a bit about caffeine sensitivity, it says that people who suddenly develop it usually have had a weakened immune system, usually from age.  Did I permanently damage my immune system that day?  I did get sick twice, but I usually get sick around this time of year...  Panic attacks are not anything I am familiar with, yet I feel like I get mini ones all the time now, especially from caffeine.  Will I pay for those horrible mistakes for the rest of my life?  Have I permanently damaged essential systems in my body?  I sure hope not :(.  I am very physically fit and exercise a lot, although I do smoke cigarettes.  If anyone can give me any information on any of this I would be grateful and love to hear it.  Also if anyone had a similar experience I would love to know how it turned out for you.  Thanks!
- Justin
13 Responses
Avatar universal
By the way I haven't had an energy drink or an adderrall/ritalin since then and I don't think I ever will.
Avatar universal
That was a complete waste of time not a single comment
Avatar universal
Hi justin, I've been on concerta for about 3 years now and my dr recently perscribe me with 5mg of ritalin. I take 2 18mg of concerta a day and 1-2 mg in the evening if I need an extra boost to do my hw. Ur story sound almost identical to what happened to me this past november. I took my 18mg like I usually do in the morning. that evening I planned to go to a friends house to get some hw done. Around 5pm I took 4 5mg of my ritlin. Big mistake. I left the house about 5min after I took my medication, and 10min later I had a full on panic attack. I was panicing, and swerving my car, my heart was skipping beats,and it was beating so fast I thought for sure I was going to die. I started praying to god asking him for forgiveness. Like I really thought my life was about to end. I even almost peed on my self. instead of driving to my friends I got off the freeway and drove to the hospital. Once I got there I couldn't even move. I couldn't open the door because every time I made any sudden movement my heart would have a palpitation. I tried to call my mom but was unble to even talk. After about 10min of waiting in the hospital parking lot I finally got out. My chest was extreamly tight and I had chest pain. They checked me in and said I was having a panic attack. I never told them I took too much of my medication because I didn't want them to think I was abusing it or something. Anyway,till this day I still have slightly high anxiety and I'm scared to have coffee or anything like that. I stopped my medication for a while. I'm now on it again and hesitate to take an evening dose. I really want to get off concerta forever lol I'm just so over it. But every day I thank god that I'm still alive. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that's had this problem.
Avatar universal
Much like you guys I used to drink coffee throughout the day and fall asleep without a problem. In my case, coffee would help wake me up but I also thought that it helped me to fall to sleep too, which doesn't really make sense. Then I started taking Concerta, which has been awesome for my studies and my ability to concentrate on one task at a time.

I've come to realize however that Concerta and my normal dose of coffee creates something akin to anxiety, or just general nervousness or perhaps a degree of panic. Now I know that if I am going to have a meeting over coffee during the morning (I still love coffee) I shouldn't take a Concerta before and I should wait to take it later in the afternoon.
Avatar universal
Much like you guys I used to drink coffee throughout the day and fall asleep without a problem. In my case, coffee would help wake me up but I also thought that it helped me to fall to sleep too, which doesn't really make sense. Then I started taking Concerta, which has been awesome for my studies and my ability to concentrate on one task at a time.

I've come to realize however that Concerta and my normal dose of coffee creates something akin to anxiety, or just general nervousness or perhaps a degree of panic. Now I know that if I am going to have a meeting over coffee during the morning (I still love coffee) I shouldn't take a Concerta before and I should wait to take it later in the afternoon.
Avatar universal
Same story with me dear.... i was a Ritalin addict for 5 years, i was taking 60mg/12 hours... same panic attacks, anxiety depression.. but now i stopped taking Ritalin. i am taking anti depressants but my studies are badly affected. i cant sit for more than 1 hour. And now i have got Ritalin phobia, i cant even think of taking  Ritalin again.  probably it was a big mistake of my life. and one more thing i am suffering from narcolepsy after quitting Ritalin.

Falam
PHARMACIST BY PROFESSION
Avatar universal
THAT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!!! NEVER TAKE RITALIN/ADDERALL ANY ADHD PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT A DR'S AUTHORIZATION--EVER NEVER!!!!!!!!!! U R LUCKY 2 BE ALIVE!!! RITALIN CAN BE DANGEROUS MEDICINE IF TAKEN WRONG U CAN DIE!!!!!!!!!!  I TOOK RITALIN FOR ABOUT 4 YEARS AND HAVE HAD IRREGULAR HEART RHYTHMNS EVEN THOUGH I HAVE BEEN TOLD I AM HEALTHY FOR THE MOST PART----SO RITALIN CAN SCREW ABOUT YOUR HEART ---SOMETIMES----IN SOME PEOPLE---I MIGHT BE VERY SENSITIVE TO RITALIN NOW AND DOCTOR IS DETOXING ME FOR 2 MONTHS FROM RITALIN----I USED TO HAVE CAFFEINE WITH RITALIN A LOT-TERRIBLE IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!! I THINK U SHOULDNT HAVE ANY CAFFEINE WITH RITALIN AT ALL---IF U DO LIKE 1 WEAK CUP OF COFFEE SPACING IT LIKE 1 TO 3 HOURS AFTER RITALIN ON LY ONCE A DAY!!!! CAFFEINE MULTIPLES THE EFFECTS OF RITALIN BY LIKE 10X OR MORE!!!! U PICK CAFFEINE OR RITALIN NOT BOTH I THINK!!!!--ENERGY DRINKS DONT GO WITH RITALIN/CAFFEINE DOESNT GO WITH RITALIN//HERBS CAN BE DANGEROUS AND ALTER THE EFFECTS OF RITALIN VERY DANGEROUS----MANY OVER THE COUNTER THINGS///ALCOHOL//EVEN SOME FOODS WITH SPICES COULD BE BAD IN PEOPLE SENSITIVE TO RITALIN OR PEOPLE WITH UNKNOWN ALLERGIES-------NEVER EVER TAKE RITALIN WITHOUT A DRS INSTRUCTIONS--IF U TAKE RITALIN FROM YOUR DOCTOR--FOLLOW YOUR DOCTORS INSTRUCTIONS/READ THE MANUFACTURER'S WARNINGS WITH YOUR PRESCRIPTION!!!!!
Avatar universal
THAT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!!! NEVER TAKE RITALIN/ADDERALL ANY ADHD PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT A DR'S AUTHORIZATION--EVER NEVER!!!!!!!!!! U R LUCKY 2 BE ALIVE!!! RITALIN CAN BE DANGEROUS MEDICINE IF TAKEN WRONG U CAN DIE!!!!!!!!!!  I TOOK RITALIN FOR ABOUT 4 YEARS AND HAVE HAD IRREGULAR HEART RHYTHMNS EVEN THOUGH I HAVE BEEN TOLD I AM HEALTHY FOR THE MOST PART----SO RITALIN CAN SCREW ABOUT YOUR HEART ---SOMETIMES----IN SOME PEOPLE---I MIGHT BE VERY SENSITIVE TO RITALIN NOW AND DOCTOR IS DETOXING ME FOR 2 MONTHS FROM RITALIN----I USED TO HAVE CAFFEINE WITH RITALIN A LOT-TERRIBLE IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!! I THINK U SHOULDNT HAVE ANY CAFFEINE WITH RITALIN AT ALL---IF U DO LIKE 1 WEAK CUP OF COFFEE SPACING IT LIKE 1 TO 3 HOURS AFTER RITALIN ON LY ONCE A DAY!!!! CAFFEINE MULTIPLES THE EFFECTS OF RITALIN BY LIKE 10X OR MORE!!!! U PICK CAFFEINE OR RITALIN NOT BOTH I THINK!!!!--ENERGY DRINKS DONT GO WITH RITALIN/CAFFEINE DOESNT GO WITH RITALIN//HERBS CAN BE DANGEROUS AND ALTER THE EFFECTS OF RITALIN VERY DANGEROUS----MANY OVER THE COUNTER THINGS///ALCOHOL//EVEN SOME FOODS WITH SPICES COULD BE BAD IN PEOPLE SENSITIVE TO RITALIN OR PEOPLE WITH UNKNOWN ALLERGIES-------NEVER EVER TAKE RITALIN WITHOUT A DRS INSTRUCTIONS--IF U TAKE RITALIN FROM YOUR DOCTOR--FOLLOW YOUR DOCTORS INSTRUCTIONS/READ THE MANUFACTURER'S WARNINGS WITH YOUR PRESCRIPTION!!!!!
Avatar universal
For the OP:

You need to get off all forms of stimulants  and get some psychiatric help immediately. You have irrational thought processes and expectations. You take medications for which you have no prescription and on top of that drink a large quantity of caffeine drinks-- and then wonder if what gave been the prescription med caused your later problems. No. Your stupidity caused whatever problem that was the result.

People go not need caffeine to stay up one night. Or even two nights. It is not a crisis that requires breaking the law and abusing rational limits to caffeine use. I'm not even going to discuss your issues with basic grammar usage. Except that it reveals your lack of rational thought.

Humans routinely go without sleep. it is not a big deal. Any time I wNt to see my mother, one of us has to travel ten time zones. Not a big deal.

You are worried your parents will find out that tou took prescription meds. You should be more worried they will realize an individual incapable of taking care of himself at a very basic level. That is why I recommend psychiatric evaluation and/or therapy.

As for the guy who posts long things in all caps : the 1990s called, they want their basic keyboard skills and manners back.

Wow.
Avatar universal
Akanthus - Wow indeed.  I can feel the waves of compassion coming off of you buddy.  Keep up the good work.   Way to help reduce the anxiety of the person who wrote the question.  

I always like to think that when people write in all caps it's because they are really really freaked out, so I feel bad for them.   They basically said the same thing you did about the dangers of taking non-prescription medications.

Abram J- thanks for your post.  I just started Ritalin and wasn't warned about caffeine being an issue by my doctor so after I have coffee I get chest pains.  I found your question when I was looking up an answer to explain my own chest pains.   The only time I have chest pain is when I have coffee.  So your experience is helping me understand that coffee will have to be decaf from now on. (I will talk to my Doctor about it too- I'm just happy it's likely something I can control)

I'm really sorry you had that experience- it sounds painful and terrifying.  Surprisingly Asskanthus has a good suggestion about the counsellor - but only because you have anxiety and if you could talk out this experience with someone who is confidential and won't judge you but can help you get through the anxiety and maybe let it go, or find ways to cope with it that would be really good for you.  

When I was younger I drank coffee by the gallon too- I could drink it before bed.  Now not so much, but I have health challenges and my body has changed so I've had to change too.   Lots of kids around me when I was younger experimented with different stimulants.  Ritalin and coffee is the least of what I've seen- so ignore that judgemental asshat.

There's nothing wrong with you, you aren't a sub-standard human being- you made a mistake but you've learned from it.  Don't let it effect the rest of your life - you can get past what you are dealing with now, but you should probably talk to someone who is an expert in dealing with anxiety and can help you with it.    

In general if you post questions in online forums there is usually at least one nasty troll who has to tear you a new one because if he doesn't he loses his powers (or something- not sure what the deal is).   I get the desire for help, but try to find someone in the real world - a school counsellor if you are still studying, friend or wise person of any stripe who can be a shoulder while you deal with this.  It's really none of your families business, but they will start to realize something is wrong if you don't find a way of dealing with how you are feeling.
Avatar universal
Wow! I couldn't of said it any better. what a caring, understanding, compassionate person you are medimage. Some people are so quick to judge. Abram J was brave enough to share his story in mist of probably hoping to educate another. I always say, you never know what a person is going through in their life or know the whole story so don't be the ******* that makes their day worse. He obviously was not informed of some things and therefore he had to find out first hand and thank the Lord it didn't turn out worse then it already was. Abram J please don't feel ashamed or worthless. You are an amazing person and it sounds like Medimage was right on point with getting some help with your anxiety. Great advice medimage. I have severe anxiety and mild OCD from the anxiety that I cope with through therapy (counseling) and medication. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel but just when I look up expecting to see nothing but darkness, I know that this is nothing I cant conquer and the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter then that darkness will ever keep me in.
Avatar universal
I am an asain from Taiwan.This is my answer to your question."Extremely Yes!"
   Its not placebo effect.Before trying Ritalin , I could take more than 400mg caffeine without side effect, excluding rapidly falling asleep when taking in the midnight.
  But if I am on Ritalin,even sipping light caffeine coffe could cause extremely SATANIC episode ,including All of your horrible experience.
  This is the medical proof source:"Mixing caffeine cause the survival of Meth from 83% to 33%."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21803121
  This is unbelievable but really helpful truth for me if I drink any beverages that contain caffeine:"TAKE MORE RITALIN PILLS AGAIN AND DRINK WATER!(Cigarettes would be better than water if you are a smoker, maybe the reason of this is that they are metabolited by the same enzyme of liver.)"
  Without doing this , I could never go through the mania episodes in 3 hours.
Avatar universal
btw, how to change my gender...
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Anxiety Community

Top Anxiety Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1595629445
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what can trigger a panic attack – and what to do if you have one.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Take control of tension today.
These simple pick-me-ups squash stress.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?