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Student Dies after Swallowing Dozens of Caffeine Pills

Columbia Missouri Tribune
October 27, 1998

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) -- A 20-year-old man died after taking a dare from a fellow student and swallowing dozens of caffeine pills.

Jason Allen had swallowed most of a 90-pill bottle, which would be the equivalent to drinking as many as 250 cups of coffee, authorities said.

'It's a terrible, terrible story,' said Morehead City police Maj. Wrenn Johnson. 'No one suspects caffeine to be deadly.'

Allen was taking general education development classes at Carteret Community College. He collapsed outside the college during a break from class Oct. 20. It wasn't known when he took the pills.

A security guard found him and called the rescue squad, which took him to Carteret General Hospital, where he died last Wednesday.

Authorities said it appeared that Allen died of heart rhythm irregularities associated with the high dose of caffeine, which is a central nervous system stimulant.