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Getting five hours’ (or more) worth of energy just might kill you. 5-Hour Energy, the compact jolt of liquid vigor found on the counters of gas stations around the nation, has been named in 13 deaths, and more than 30 hospitalizations, over the last four years.

The federal government and the New York Attorney General’s office have opened an investigation into the deaths, following a claim from the Food and Drug Administration.

For the second time in a month, the FDA has named the energy drink, made by Living Essentials, in the deaths of several people. However, the reports do not necessarily point to 5-Hour Energy being the cause of death, but may have been a contributor.

Experts assert that the dosage of ingestion can potentially be fatal, as other brands of energy drinks, like Monster, have also been named as being dangerous. “If someone is to use multiple cans, now is when we start to see some of the side effects,” Dr. Sean Patrick Nord, USC Director of the Section of Toxicology told ABC News. “You’re getting astronomical amounts, 30 to 40 cups of coffee.”

Some have called for the FDA to enforce stricter restrictions on the labeling of caffeine and other energy drinks, but the agency has not found sufficient evidence to take such action.

Although sold in 2 oz. shots, 5-Hour energy does not reveal the amount of caffeine in each bottle. Living Essentials, based in Michigan, has not commented on the newest report, but said that the product, contains “as much caffeine as a cup of the leading premium coffee,” is “intended for busy adults.”

Daniel Fabricant, director of the FDA’s dietary supplement programs division, pointed out that medical information in the death reports of the 13 people may rule out the possibility of the energy drink’s involvement. Fabricant also noted that the fatality cases were submitted to the FDA by Living Essentials.


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