Caffeine challenge test and panic disorder: a systematic literature review

Expert Rev Neurother. 2011 Aug;11(8):1185-95. doi: 10.1586/ern.11.83.


This systematic review aimed to examine the results of studies that have investigated the induction of panic attacks and/or the anxiogenic effect of the caffeine challenge test in patients with panic disorder. The literature search was performed in PubMed, Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde and the ISI Web of Knowledge. The words used for the search were caffeine, caffeine challenge test, panic disorder, panic attacks and anxiety disorder. In total, we selected eight randomized, double-blind studies where caffeine was administered orally, and none of them controlled for confounding factors in the analysis. The percentage of loss during follow-up ranged between 14.3% and 73.1%. The eight studies all showed a positive association between caffeine and anxiogenic effects and/or panic disorder.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / chemically induced
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Caffeine* / adverse effects
  • Caffeine* / chemistry
  • Caffeine* / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants* / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants* / chemistry
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants* / metabolism
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Neurological
  • Humans
  • Panic Disorder / chemically induced
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis*


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Caffeine