Worsening of symptoms in patients can only be a sign of caffeine or nicotine withdrawal, doctors warn

Aggravation of symptoms in intensive care patients can be a sign of caffeine or nicotine withdrawal and do not justify expensive tests, doctors warn

  • Cold turkey on coffee and cigarettes can make people sicker
  • Symptoms include nausea, headache and may last for two weeks
  • Doctors can send scans or X-rays if they have a life-threatening illness
  • Smokers found a review are more agitation that can affect their treatment

Caffeine and nicotine intake is mistaken for more intensive patients in intensive patients, the researchers fear.

They said doctors might waste time and money by sending patients who have caught a cold for additional tests if they get worse.

Giving up nicotine and caffeine can cause shakes and nausea – symptoms that can mimic life-threatening illnesses, such as meningitis.

Every time patients are sent away for unnecessary tests, they run the risk of damage, Bulgarian scientists have said.


The Queen Giovanna University Hospital in Bulgaria examined 12 studies of patients in intensive care, involving nearly 500 adults.

Doctors waste time and money by sending patients who use caffeine and nicotine withdrawal for testing, doctors have warned

Doctors waste time and money by sending patients who use caffeine and nicotine withdrawal for testing, doctors have warned

The results showed that short-term nicotine withdrawal significantly increases patient agitation.

A total of 64 percent of smokers who were unable to get a nicotine pick-up were agitated compared to 32 percent of non-smokers.

This is a concern because treatment can become more difficult – the number of tracheal tube and intravenous line movements caused by agitation in ICU patients was 14 percent for smokers and three percent for non-smokers.

Intravenous lines provide fluids or medication because they are inserted through the skin and into the vein and is a tracheal tube to help ventilate the lungs.


To give patients nicotine replacement in the form of things like gums or plasters, it doesn't seem to help.


Nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes, changes the balance of chemical messengers in their brains when used for a long time.

When someone stops taking nicotine quickly, they disrupt this chemical balance and experience physical and psychological side effects that are difficult to control when trying to quit smoking.

Smokers complain about headache, sweating, shaking, increased hunger and difficult concentration, for example. Their cravings can make them feel anxious and moody.

Caffeine is not addictive, but people can become dependent on it.


The stimulant increases the release of stress hormones and adrenaline so that you get that energy boost. But the peak does not last long, so people will quickly grab another cup.

They then go into a cycle of caffeine need to wake them up from a fall.

Cutting back can cause headache, fatigue, irritability, anxiety and low concentration.

Some nicotine addicts responded well with less headache, but others developed delirium, including severe confusion and disorientation.

This can extend the stay in the hospital and is linked to an increased death rate in intensive care, according to the research.


Main author Dr. Maya Belitova said: Nicotine and caffeine are some of the most used and highly addictive drugs in modern society.

& # 39; But they are often overlooked as a potential source of significant withdrawal symptoms when stopped abruptly in intensive care units.

& # 39; Symptoms are similar to conditions such as meningitis, encephalitis and intracranial bleeding.

& # 39; This can confuse the clinical diagnosis and lead to unnecessary tests that can harm the patient, cost a lot of money and waste time.

She added: & [39] [Some] ICU patients may benefit from nicotine substitution or caffeine supplementation.


& # 39; But with little evidence of their effectiveness, this should be left to the judgment of treating physicians. & # 39;

She said that future research should focus on how caffeine withdrawal leads to agitation and what treatment options are available.

Symptoms of sudden caffeine and nicotine cessation, including vomiting and delirium, may persist for up to two weeks.

Europe has the highest prevalence of adult smoking at 28 percent, according to the World Health Organization.

Half of the population drinks coffee, according to the researchers, but official figures are unclear.

. [TagsToTranslate] Dailymail

- Advertisement -