Coffee is a very popular drink consumed by many. Not only can coffee be taken to keep you awake but it is thought to have antioxidant properties.

Coffee Overview

Reviewed: August 21, 2014

Coffee is a beverage prepared from the roasted and ground seeds (also called beans) of Coffea. Most coffee beans used to make coffee come from the Coffea arabica tree.

Caffeine is most often used for respiratory conditions, fatigue, and improving physical performance and cognitive function.

Coffee is thought to work mainly due to its caffeine content, which may improve cognitive and physical function, promote weight loss, and speed up the body’s metabolism. Some studies suggest that non-caffeine components of coffee, such as phytoestrogens (natural plant estrogens), may contribute to its medicinal properties. Coffee is also thought to have antioxidant properties. 

Common side effects of coffee include increased urination, anxiety, and restlessness.

Coffee is used for weight loss, gout, pain, clotting disorders, respiratory conditions, Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, cancer prevention, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and for improving memory, cognitive function, and physical performance.

Coffee has not been proven effective for all of the uses listed above. Coffee may be used for other conditions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Side Effects of Coffee

Common side effects of coffee include the following:

  • Increased urination
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Feeling lightheaded

This is not a complete list of coffee side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Coffee Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • Stimulant medications such as methylphenidate or dextroamphetamine
  • Anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin, aspirin, or clopidogrel
  • Products containing estrogen such as hormone replacement therapy or birth control medications
  • Medications used to treat osteoporosis, such as alendronate.
  • Antidepressant medications, particularly fluvoxamine
  • Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine
  • Some antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin.
  • Clozapine
  • Lithium
  • Verapamil 
  • Ma Huang
  • Bitter orange
  • Creatine
  • Mexiletine
  • Theophylline
  • Green Tea
  • Yerba Mate
  • Cocoa
  • Black tea
  • Cola nut

This is not a complete list of coffee drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Coffee Precautions

Special precautions & warnings:

  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using coffee if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to become pregnant. There may be an increased risk of miscarriage associated with caffeine use during the first trimester or pregnancy.
  • Regular consumption of caffeine use has been associated with tolerance to its effects. Stopping caffeine suddenly may cause some withdrawal effects, such as headache, drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability. These symptoms are usually not long-lasting.
  • The toxic effects of caffeine may include vomiting, abdominal pain, agitation, rigidity, seizures, and irregular heartbeat. If you suspect caffeine toxicity, seek immediate medical help.
  • Avoid coffee and other caffeine-containing products if you have glaucoma. These products may increase pressure within the eye.
  • Use coffee and other caffeine-containing products with caution if you have diabetes. These products have been reported to cause both increases and decreases in blood sugar
  • Use coffee and other caffeine-containing products with caution if you have osteoporosis. These products may lower blood calcium levels, particularly in individuals with a low daily calcium intake.
  • Caffeine may aggravate psychiatric disease. Talk to your doctor before drinking coffee if you are diagnosed with or suspect you might have a psychiatric condition.