Caffeine allergy

Caffeine allergy, also called an IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reaction to caffeine, is very rare.

Only a handful of cases of caffeine allergy have been reported within and outside of the United States. The known symptoms of caffeine allergy are hives (urticarial) and anaphylaxis reactions. (1)Infante S, Baeza ML, Calvo M, De Barrio M, Rubio M, Herrero T. Anaphylaxis due to caffeine is IgE-mediated and dose-dependent. Allergy. Volume 58, Issue 7, pages 681–682, July 2003. Available here. (2)Hinrichs R, Hunzelmann N, Ritzkowsky A, Zollner TM, Krieg T, Scharffetter-Kochanek K. Caffeine hypersensitivity. Allergy. Volume 57, Issue 9, pages 859–860, September 2002. Available here. (3)Sugiyama K, Cho T, Tatewaki M, Onishi S, Yokoyama T, Yoshida N, et al. Anaphylaxis due to caffeine. Asia Pac Allergy. 2015 Jan; 5(1): 55–56. Published online 2015 Jan 28. Available here. (4)Tognetti L, Murdaca F, Fimiani M. Caffeine as a cause of urticaria-angioedema. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2014 Dec; 5(Suppl 2): S113–S115. Available here.

Anaphylaxis reaction usually occurs due to the combination of caffeine with other drugs (e.g. aspirin) rather than caffeine on its own, although there have been some cases of anaphylaxis reactions reported outside of the United States from caffeine alone. (5)Sugiyama K, Cho T, Tatewaki M, Onishi S, Yokoyama T, Yoshida N, et al. Anaphylaxis due to caffeine. Asia Pac Allergy. 2015 Jan; 5(1): 55–56. Published online 2015 Jan 28. Available here.

Considering that 85% of the U.S. population drinks at least one caffeinated drink per day (6)Mitchell DC, Knight CA, Hockenberry J, Teplansky R, Hartman TJ. Beverage caffeine intakes in the U.S. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Volume 63, January 2014, Pages 136–142. Available here., the allergy to caffeine is considered extremely rare.

NOTE: caffeine allergy is not the same as caffeine sensitivity or caffeine intolerance.

References   [ + ]

1. Infante S, Baeza ML, Calvo M, De Barrio M, Rubio M, Herrero T. Anaphylaxis due to caffeine is IgE-mediated and dose-dependent. Allergy. Volume 58, Issue 7, pages 681–682, July 2003. Available here.
2. Hinrichs R, Hunzelmann N, Ritzkowsky A, Zollner TM, Krieg T, Scharffetter-Kochanek K. Caffeine hypersensitivity. Allergy. Volume 57, Issue 9, pages 859–860, September 2002. Available here.
3. Sugiyama K, Cho T, Tatewaki M, Onishi S, Yokoyama T, Yoshida N, et al. Anaphylaxis due to caffeine. Asia Pac Allergy. 2015 Jan; 5(1): 55–56. Published online 2015 Jan 28. Available here.
4. Tognetti L, Murdaca F, Fimiani M. Caffeine as a cause of urticaria-angioedema. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2014 Dec; 5(Suppl 2): S113–S115. Available here.
5. Sugiyama K, Cho T, Tatewaki M, Onishi S, Yokoyama T, Yoshida N, et al. Anaphylaxis due to caffeine. Asia Pac Allergy. 2015 Jan; 5(1): 55–56. Published online 2015 Jan 28. Available here.
6. Mitchell DC, Knight CA, Hockenberry J, Teplansky R, Hartman TJ. Beverage caffeine intakes in the U.S. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Volume 63, January 2014, Pages 136–142. Available here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *