A primer on caffeine pharmacology and its drug interactions in clinical psychopharmacology

Psychopharmacol Bull. 2001 Summer;35(3):30-48.


Caffeine in the form of various beverages and as an additive in numerous drug formulations is the most widely consumed drug in the world. Its psychostimulant properties account for much of its popularity. Caffeine has multiple pharmacological effects that influence normal physiological functioning, and it has been suspected of contributing to morbidity. Drug interactions of caffeine with other psychoactive drugs are described. This review summarizes the pharmacology of caffeine and its drug interactions relevant to the practice of clinical psychopharmacology. The impact of caffeine consumption should be considered in planning and assessing responses to pharmacotherapy for mental illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caffeine / metabolism
  • Caffeine / pharmacokinetics
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacokinetics
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Psychotropic Drugs / metabolism
  • Psychotropic Drugs / pharmacokinetics
  • Psychotropic Drugs / pharmacology*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Caffeine