The acute lethal dose 50 (LD50) of caffeine in albino rats

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016 Oct;80:274-6. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2016.07.011. Epub 2016 Jul 25.


An acute LD50 is a statistically derived amount of a substance that can be expected to cause death in 50% of the animals when given by a specified route as a single dose and the animals observed for a specified time period. Although conducting routine acute toxicity testing in rodents has been criticized, it can serve useful functions and also have practical implications. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) will reflect the acute toxicity of a substance and may require workers to wear protective gear, if appropriate, based on the LD50. There is no information in the scientific published literature which calculates a mean LD50 and standard deviation for caffeine administered orally to rats, using studies performed under good laboratory practice (GLP) or equivalent. This report does that and should be useful to manufacturers, packagers, transporters and regulators of this material. Using data from studies that are reproducible and reliable, the most accurate estimate of the acute LD50 of caffeine administered orally in male albino rats is hereby reported to be 367/mg/kg.

Keywords: Albino rats; Caffeine; Lethal dose 50.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Caffeine / toxicity*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Lethal Dose 50*
  • Male
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Risk Assessment
  • Toxicity Tests, Acute / methods*


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Caffeine