Is Caffeine Your Trigger?

Caffeine, which has been called the most commonly used drug in the world, deserves special consideration. It is estimated that 90% of Americans consume some form of caffeine daily, and more than half in excess of 300 mg a day. Caffeine, in moderation, is not a problem. What determines moderation, however, is a matter of both opinion and individual variability. Many people consider 200-300 mg/day to be moderate use, however, this may be more than can be tolerated without difficulty if you are a migraine sufferer, and if this proves to be a migraine trigger for you. Also, bear in mind that the DSM-IV defines caffeine intoxication syndrome as symptoms arising from ingestion of more than 250 mg of caffeine.

The US Food and Drug Administration limits caffeine content to 6 mg/fluid ounce in soft drinks and energy drinks. There is not a similar limit in beverages that are brewed at or after point of sale. The average cup of coffee contains at least 100 mg of caffeine. (How big is your cup?)

Another important consideration is caffeine-containing medications. Many headache sufferers take caffeine-containing over-the-counter medications, and are not aware of the amount of caffeine in these preparations, or that they may be getting more caffeine in their pills than in their coffee.

Commonly taken caffeine-containing over-the-counter medications

Excedrin® Migraine 65 mg
Excedrin® Tension Headache 65 mg
Extra-Strength Excedrin® 65 mg
Anacin® 32 mg
NoDoz® 100 mg & 200 mg
Goody's® powder for headaches 32.5 mg
Goody's® powder for pain relief 16.25 mg
Vivarin® 200 mg
Dexatrim® 200 mg
Midol® 32.4 mg
Vanquish® 33 mg

Caffeine-containing prescription pain medications

Darvon® compound 32.4 mg
Esgic® 40 mg
Wigraine® 100 mg
Cafergot® 100 mg
Fioricet® 40 mg
butalbital, aspirin, caffeine 40 mg
Norgesic® 30 mg
Norgesic® Forte 60 mg

Caffeine is in a lot of products, including beverages