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Ohio teen dies from overdose of pure caffeine

Updated: Saturday, July 12, 2014
Ohio teen dies from overdose of pure caffeine story image

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - An Ohio teen's death is highlighting the very real danger posed by too much caffeine.

Back in May, Stephen Evans died from a lethal dose of pure caffeine, just days before his high school graduation ceremony in LaGrange.

The amount of caffeine in his system caused a cardiac arrhythmia and a seizure.

Caffeine overdoses are rare, but caffeine powder can significantly raise the risk.

Popular energy drinks usually have 90 or more milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounce serving and an 8 ounce coffee may have up to 200 milligrams--but powdered caffeine is even stronger.

It's cheap, sold online and in health supplement stores, and is potentially lethal.

"I think that's really the scary thing, is that everybody thinks that caffeine is so safe because it's everywhere," said Dr. Tara Narula, a CBS News medical contributor.

"That's a very dangerous situation, and I think it needs to be regulated better," said Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans.

As caffeine powder is labeled as a supplement, it's not currently regulated by the FDA.

However, the packaging does have a warning about the potential harmful side effects.

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