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European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 51, Issue 3–4, pp 319–325 | Cite as

Absorption rate of methylxanthines following capsules, cola and chocolate

  • G. K. Mumford
  • N. L. Benowitz
  • S. M. Evans
  • B. J. Kaminski
  • K. L. Preston
  • C. A. Sannerud
  • K. Silverman
  • R. R. Griffiths
PHARMACOKINETICS AND DISPOSITION

Abstract

Objective:

To compare caffeine and theobromine absorption after oral administration of capsules, cola beverage and chocolate candy.

Methods:

Three males and four females who abstained from methylxanthines received five methylxanthine-containing treatments: caffeine in capsules (72 mg), administered twice; theobromine in capsules (370 mg); cola beverage (72 mg caffeine) and chocolate candy (72 mg caffeine and 370 mg theobromine). Plasma methylxanthine levels were assayed from samples collected before and 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 3.0 h after caffeine capsule and cola treatments and, additionally, at 4.0 and 6.0 h after theobromine capsule and chocolate treatments.

Results:

Caffeine plasma concentrations increased rapidly and peaked at approximately 30 min following both capsule treatments 1 (Cmax: 1.93 μg ⋅ ml−1); and 2 (Cmax: 2.05 μg ⋅ ml−1). Relative to capsules, caffeine absorption from cola and chocolate was delayed and produced lower maximum caffeine plasma concentrations which peaked 1.5–2.0 h after treatment (For cola, Cmax: 1.57 μg ⋅ ml−1); and for chocolate, Cmax: 1.50 μg ⋅ ml−1. Theobromine plasma concentrations peaked approximately 3 h after capsule administration (Cmax: 6.72 μg ⋅ ml−1). Relative to capsules, theobromine absorption from chocolate was more rapid and produced higher maximum theobromine plasma concentrations which peaked approximately 2 h after treatment (Cmax: 8.05 μg ⋅ ml−1).

Conclusions:

The results suggest that a usual dietary portion of the cola or chocolate used in this study would produce behaviorally discriminable plasma levels of caffeine in most subjects and of theobromine in at least one subject.

Key words Caffeine Cocoa Chocolate Theobromine; methylxanthines absorption humans 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. K. Mumford
    • 1
  • N. L. Benowitz
    • 3
  • S. M. Evans
    • 2
  • B. J. Kaminski
    • 1
  • K. L. Preston
    • 1
  • C. A. Sannerud
    • 1
  • K. Silverman
    • 1
  • R. R. Griffiths
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Behavioral Biology Research Center, 5510 Nathan Shock Drive, Suite 3000, Baltimore, MD 21224, USATP
  2. 2.Clinical Pharmacology Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Addiction Research Center, P.O. Box 5180 Baltimore, Md 21224, USATP
  3. 3.Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, Bldg. 30, 5th Floor, 1001 Portrero Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110, USAUS

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