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Caffeine Withdrawal

Caffeine withdrawal syndrome may develop after the abrupt cessation of (or substantial reduction in) prolonged daily caffeine ingestion. Headache is the hallmark symptom of caffeine withdrawal. However, other symptoms of caffeine withdrawal can occur, such as drowsiness; depressed or otherwiscoffeee negative mood; irritability; difficulty concentrating; and flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or muscle pain/stiffness).

Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal syndrome must cause a person significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The symptoms must not be better explained as the result of another medical condition or mental disorder.


This post has been updated according to DSM-5 (2013); Diagnostic code: 292.0. 

Though withdrawal from caffeine is now a recognized syndrome, “caffeine use disorder” (which requires additional symptoms due to a substance) is still not a recognized diagnosis at this time.

Caffeine Withdrawal

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Caffeine Withdrawal. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 16, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Sep 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Sep 2018
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