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The Food and Drug Administration plans to investigate whether AeroShot, an inhalable caffeine sold in small canisters, is safe for consumer use. The agency will also decide whether the product is properly branded as a dietary supplement.
Unlike medications, supplements are not subject to FDA review before being placed on the market.
For the uninitiated, AeroShot allows consumers to breathe in a fine caffeine powder that then dissolves in the mouth. Each canister contains 100 milligrams of caffeine, which the Associated Press reports is equivalent to a large cup of coffee. There are no other energy additives, such as taurine or guarana.
The main concern is that kids, teens and younger adults will use the inhalable caffeine in conjunction with alcohol. Such concerns are what ultimately forced the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko off the market.
Even when not combined with alcohol, caffeine consumption can lead to serious side effects. High levels of caffeine can cause an increase in heart rate, anxiety, tremors and headaches. An overdose can lead to breathing trouble, convulsions and hallucinations.
While AeroShot should not be used more than 2 times a day, the product's small size makes it easy for consumers to imbibe more frequently and in dangerous situations. It's also attractive because it does not contain the sugar found in energy and soft drinks.
As the FDA investigates AeroShot and the safety of inhalable caffeine, it's important that you continue to exercise caution during use. If you have teens that might be drawn to the product, have a conversation about caffeine safety.