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Reports: 5-Hour Energy Drink Cited In 13 Deaths, One Abortion

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The FDA said that it has received reports of 13 deaths over the last four years that cite the involvement of 5-Hour Energy drinks, making it the latest caffeinated drink to get scrutiny from federal officials. The drink, which packs the caffeine of about two cups of coffee into one shot, has been mentioned in 90 filings with the FDA, including 13 deaths, heart-attacks, convulsions and one spontaneous abortion, according to the New York Times.

These filings don't necessarily mean that the product was responsible for the death or injury, and a causal link can be difficult to investigate, the Times says. But these reports come at a time when there's growing concern about energy drinks' effects, particularly on young people. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin asked the FDA to investigate the health effects of energy drinks like Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar and Full Throttle. A report saying that drinks distributed by the Corona-based Monster Beverage Corporation might be linked to 5 deaths, including that of a 14-year-old girl who died last December, was made public last month. Her family is suing the company.

5-Hour Energy is distributed by Living Essentials, which is based in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The company issued a statement, saying that it took "reports of any potential adverse event tied to our products very seriously."

Not all of the energy drinks on the market are regulated the same way. Drinks like Red Bull are marketed as beverages, whereas 5-Hour Energy is marketed as a dietary supplement (recommended by doctors, according to this ad!).

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Killer Caffeine: Monster Energy Drink Linked to 5 Deaths
Illinois Sen. Durbin Calls For Investigation Of Energy Drinks