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Monster Energy Drinks Defends Against Death Report

Monster Energy Drinks Defends Against Death Report

In response to the lawsuit related to the death of a 14-year-old girl, the beverage company fights back

Amid death reports from the FDA and charges of undisclosed caffeine in energy drinks, Monster Beverage defended its energy drinks in a lawsuit that links the drinks to the death of a 14-year-old girl.

In its defense, The New York Times reports, Monster Beverage argued there was no "medical or scientific evidence" to link the death of Anais Fournier, of Maryland, to its energy drinks. Fournier is said to have consumed two 24-ounce Monster Energy Drinks in the 24 hours before her death; however, a team of doctors reviewed her medical records and concluded that caffeine toxicity was not the cause of her death. Rather, they believed she died of natural causes due to a heart condition — and there was no blood test to confirm that she died of caffeine toxicity. Said Dr. Michael H. Forman of the Tri-City Emergency Medical Group in San Diego, Calif., "She had a diseased heart... It had nothing to do with a modest amount of caffeine she consumed. That amount of caffeine would be safe for anybody."

The family of Fournier sued Monster Beverages for negligible and wrongful death in October; depositions for the case won't happen until the spring.


Monster Energy Drink Almost Killed Us, Lawsuits Claim

Consumers say the company should’ve warned them that the caffeine torpedoes allegedly cause heart attacks and strokes. The company says that’s a coincidence.

Kate Briquelet

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Robert Grim was driving to work when the nausea set in. As his vision blurred, the Arizona resident pulled over to the side of the road and called in sick. His symptoms only worsened at home, he said.

The twentysomething rushed to the emergency room that day in December 2014 and would soon learn he had stage 4 kidney disease, court papers charge.

Grim claimed he downed a can of Monster Energy before leaving the house, just as he’d always done for the last 10 years. Until his diagnosis, Grim guzzled four of the energy drinks a day—or the caffeine jolt equivalent of eighteen 12-oz cans of Coca-Cola, according to a new lawsuit filed against the beverage maker.

Now he’s on dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant, according to the lawsuit.

Grim is one of five people to file lawsuits against Monster Beverage Corp. this month, alleging irreversible and near-fatal health problems they claim were caused by long-term use of the energy drink.

The civil suits allege habitual drinkers of the caffeine bombs suffered heart attacks, stroke, and renal failure, among other health concerns. The lawsuits allege Monster is guilty of negligence, defective design, failure to warn of risks associated with consuming the drink and other potential violations. And the attorneys say energy drinks like Monster say they’re as bad for young people as cigarettes.

“These cans lack all types of warnings,” attorney Mike Morgan, whose Florida law firm is representing the consumers, told The Daily Beast.

“The thing that’s most stunning is the lack of transparency,” Morgan added. “There’s been no change in their formula, no change in practices, no change in warnings. They never released documents to show they’re safe.

“A consumer has a right to know what they are putting in their body and not be misled.”

In a statement, Monster Beverage called one of the plaintiff’s claims “a copy-cat case filed by personal injury lawyers… trying to make a cottage industry out of suing energy drink companies.”

Monster was referring to a case filed by Joel Rine, a 43-year-old Kansas man who claimed he had a stroke after ingesting six 16-ounce cans every day for five years.

“There is no merit in the case whatsoever, and Monster will vigorously defend it,” the beverage powerhouse continued. “As the case progresses, it will likely be revealed that Mr. Rine suffered from preexisting health conditions that caused his injuries—completely unrelated to consumption of a Monster Energy drink.”

It’s not the first time energy-drink behemoths have faced litigation.

In 2013, a California mom sued Monster after her 19-year-old son, Alex Morris, died from cardiac arrhythmia. Paula Morris alleged Alex consumed two cans of the energy drink every day for three years—including the day he died.

The year before, the family of 14-year-old Anais Fournier of Maryland filed a suit against Monster, claiming the drink’s glut of caffeine contributed to her death.

Fournier, who had an heart condition, went into cardiac arrest after gulping two 24-oz cans within a 24-hour period, her parents claim. An autopsy found caffeine toxicity impeded her heart’s ability to pump blood, CBS reported.

In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration has probed claims of death and serious injury linked to energy-drink manufacturers 5-Hour Energy and Monster.

Still, Monster claims a 16-oz can contains less than half the caffeine of a medium Starbucks coffee. The company also said its ingredients, such as taurine, l-carnitine and inositol, have been in infant formulas for decades.

“There is much false information in prior media stories that continues to be repeated by personal injury lawyers, and then by journalists, who are unaware that those facts have been proved false,” the company said in a statement, adding, “Monster will continue to prove its case in court.”

Morgan scoffed at Monster’s “copy-cat case” comeback.

“My response to that is … what happened to all these other lawsuits? Did they ever pay anybody? Did they ever release their formula? Did they require confidentiality on documents they released?” he said.

“We’re demanding accountability,” Morgan continued. “If they can produce that, then they can say we’re creating a cottage industry and it’s not a problem. But I don’t think they’re going to do that.”

Morgan, who is asking Monster consumers to visit energydrinkslawsuit.com, says his clients were 14 to 42 years old when they encountered health problems due to the drinks.

John Staten, a then-14-year-old student athlete in West Virginia, quaffed Monster to pump up for wrestling and football practice, Morgan told The Daily Beast.

But when he woke one day in February 2012, he collapsed after having difficulty speaking and numbness on his left side, according to a lawsuit filed in Riverside County, California.

Emergency room doctors initially dismissed his symptoms as a pinched nerve because of his age. Staten had an MRI days later, and his pediatrician determined he had suffered a stroke, court papers said.

Staten claims he ingested three 24-oz Monster cans over a three-month period—the equivalent caffeine amount of twenty-one 12-oz cans of Coca-Cola, the lawsuit states.

“It’s not like if you get a staph infection and doctors give you an antibiotic and undo what was done,” Morgan told The Daily Beast. “There is no reversal. Once it’s done, it’s done forever, and we’re allowing children to make these decisions.”

Morgan said one new client is the family of 26-year-old father who “religiously drank Monster” and passed away this week. The New Port Richey, Florida, man coughed up blood and died of a heart attack, the attorney said.

In court papers, the Morgan & Morgan firm states “caffeine can be lethal in doses ranging from 200-400 milligrams” and that one 16-ounce can of Monster contains 160 milligrams of the drug.

Monster bypassed FDA regulation by billing itself as a “dietary supplement,” rather than a “food,” when it launched in 2002. According to the lawsuits, Monster did so to avoid limits on caffeine content imposed on soft drinks and other beverages.

But in 2013, facing questions over the product’s safety, Monster marketed its products as “beverages” instead. At the time, Monster spokeswoman said the company wouldn’t alter its recipe but planned to add a label showing caffeine content per can, CNN reported.

The new lawsuits charge that as a “beverage,” Monster isn’t required to report adverse health events to the FDA or “at least not in the same manner as it was required to when its product was labeled as an “Energy Supplement.’”

“Even now, they still hide behind a loophole where they can list their proprietary energy blend without listing how much caffeine is in those ingredients,” Morgan told The Daily Beast.

“There should be a warning on the cans, and age restrictions on who should buy it,” he added. “If we wouldn’t let a 14-year-old buy a pack of cigarettes, we shouldn’t let them buy these drinks if we don’t know what’s in them.”


When caffeine becomes deadly: How much is too much?

The recent death of a South Carolina teen blamed on too much caffeine has once again propelled the popular stimulant and questions over its safety into the national spotlight.

Sixteen-year-old Davis Cripe collapsed last month at his high school and died at a hospital after consuming a large soft drink, a latte and an energy drink over a short period, according to Richland County coroner Gary Watts.

Davis was a healthy and active teen who shunned drugs and alcohol, his parents said.

A classmate who was with Davis the day he died said he "basically chugged" an energy drink during class, CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil reports.

"These drinks, this amount of caffeine, how it's ingested can have dire consequences and that's what happened in this case," Watts said.

Watts determined the high school sophomore experienced a "cardiac event" after consuming so much caffeine in less than a two-hour span.

Trending News

Over the last few years, there have been several highly publicized deaths attributed to caffeine overdose &mdash particularly in healthy teens and young adults &mdash raising questions about the safety of America's favorite stimulant.

There have also been new challenges for state and federal health officials and lawmakers struggling with how to regulate and control the sales of certain novel, highly caffeinated products, including Four Loko, a caffeine-spiked alcoholic drink which was banned in several states and reformulated under pressure from the FDA in 2010. It no longer contains caffeine.

Though caffeine itself is of course legal and widely used, caffeine is still a stimulant drug. It is generally very safe for most people, but consuming too much of it can be dangerous.

According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's about the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two "energy shot" drinks.

Consuming more than that could start to affect your health.

"You know it when it happens. You start to feel dizzy. You can feel it in your chest," said CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus.

A major issue is that many people may not realize how much caffeine is in the beverages they consume.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a venti Starbucks Blonde Roast contains 475 mg of caffeine, while a 2 oz. 5-hour Energy Shot contains 200 mg. Most 16 oz. energy drinks, including Monster, Rockstar, and Venom, contain 160 mg.

Agus says energy drinks send more than 20,000 people to the emergency room annually.

"The problem that we're learning is that it's not just caffeine, it's the other stimulants that are in there," he told "CBS This Morning" Tuesday. "In a cup of coffee, you may have [it] over 45 minutes or 60 minutes. These energy drinks you're having all at once. And so all the caffeine give this big peak in the body and that's when bad things happen."

Other ingredients in energy drinks vary, but can include herbal substances, vitamins, sugars, and taurine, an amino acid found in meat and fish.

In 2012, the FDA announced it was investigating five deaths linked to Monster Energy Drinks .

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against children and teens drinking energy drinks of any kind.

CBS News contacted the American Beverage Association, which represents the makers of almost all energy drinks sold in America, and they referred us to their fact sheet on caffeine. The trade group says energy drinks can be safely consumed in moderation.


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The team found no medical evidence for an autopsy report that said ‘caffeine toxicity’ was a factor, he said.

Callahan said that declaration on the autopsy report was made based on interviews with Anais Fournier's mother, who told the medical examiner's office the girl had consumed energy drinks before her death.

A spokesman for Maryland's chief medical examiner could not immediately confirm whether a blood test had been performed to check for caffeine levels and said that the office does not comment on cases in litigation.

Heart condition: Fournier had a preexisting heart condition that had caused one of her heart valves to malfunction

The cause of death listed on the autopsy report was ‘cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity complicating mitral valve regurgitation in the setting of Ehler's-Danlos syndrome,’ which is a heart condition.

Fournier’s condition had caused one of her heart valves to malfunction. She went into cardiac arrest after consuming the two Monster drinks in December 2011 and died six days later.

Fournier’s family stayed at her bedside as doctors induced a coma to keep her brain from swelling.
Kevin Goldberg, a Maryland attorney for Fournier's family, said that the absence of a test for caffeine ‘doesn't tell us anything’ and that the family is looking forward to a jury determining Monster's accountability.

‘In America, a jury of our peers determines justice. Not doctors paid by billion-dollar corporations to attend press conferences,’ he wrote.

Labeling on Monster's cans say the drinks are not for children or pregnant women. But Goldberg said the reference to children is ‘ambiguous and intentionally misleading’ because Monster's marketing is geared toward teenagers and young adults.

Monster says its target market is 18 to 34 years old but that its drinks are nevertheless safe for children as well.

Legal defense: Monster's lawyer Daniel Callahan said he believes Fournier died of natural causes brought on by her preexisting heart conditions

The company also said that evidence obtained as part of the lawsuit's discovery process shows Anais Fournier regularly had energy drinks and frequented Starbucks without incident.

Monster made the findings public during a press conference in Chicago, which is holding a hearing on a ban on energy drinks Tuesday.

Callahan also noted that none of the other incidents the FDA is investigating has resulted in a lawsuit against Monster.

Before the spate of bad publicity that dragged down its stock price in recent months, Monster had been enjoying enormous growth because of the surging popularity of energy drinks.

In 2011, sales volume for energy drink overall rose 17 per cent, according to the industry tracker Beverage Digest, with the three biggest players — Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar — all logging double-digit gains.

But the success has also brought greater scrutiny. This summer, the New York state attorney general's office subpoenaed Monster as part of an investigation into how energy drinks are made and marketed.

Subpoenas were also sent to Living Essentials, which makes 5-Hour Energy shots, and PepsiCo Inc., which makes AMP.

Lawmakers have also called on the FDA to investigate the use of ingredients such as taurine in energy drinks and whether the caffeine levels are safe for children.

Monster has stood by the safety of its drinks, which it says contain 240 milligrams of caffeine for a 24-ounce can, compared with 330 milligrams in a 16-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee.

Monster, based in Corona, California, has recently said it will begin disclosing the caffeine levels in its drink labels.

Not backing down: Monster has stood by the safety of its drinks, which it says contain 240 milligrams of caffeine for a 24-ounce can, compared with 330 milligrams in a 16-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee


Wrongful Death Suit Against Monster Beverage Heads to Mediation

A California judge Thursday ordered Monster Beverage to mediation Nov. 26 in a wrongful death suit that alleges the company's energy drinks were responsible for a teen's death.

Monster is being sued by the parents of a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died after consuming two of the company's drinks within 24 hours in the fall of 2012. Her parents allege the highly caffeinated drink is to blame. A coroner's report in Maryland agreed saying Anais Fournier died of "cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity." The girl also, however, had an existing heart problem, but not one that was severe enough for doctors to limit her activities or to warn her away from caffeine.

"Anais' parents were hoping a trial date would be set at the hearing and they're frustrated that despite mounting evidence that energy drinks are dangerous and should not be consumed by children or anyone with an underlying heart condition, Monster continues to sell thousands of energy drinks to young people every day," said Kevin Goldberg, the attorney representing the Fournier family.

California-based Monster declined to comment on Thursday's ruling, but in the past they have denied their drinks are dangerous.

Earlier this year an attorney representing the beverage maker said two doctors the company hired found no evidence to support claims Anais Fournier died due to consuming their drink.

Monster has also said in the past that there is often more caffeine in a cup of coffee then in its drinks. Critics charge coffee isn't usually consumed by children and it isn't usually aggressively gulped like Monster's beverages.

One attorney with experience litigating cases in California said now that the case is going to mediation, it could still go either way for either party. The best-case scenario for Monster was to have it thrown out of court, he said, while the best-case scenario for the plaintiff might have been a jury trial.

Meanwhile, Monster continues to defend itself against other litigation. The city of San Francisco also sued Monster earlier this year, saying it was marketing its drinks to children.

The attorney for the Fournier family also has made similar arguments, saying: "Monster continues to target their marketing towards children like Anais, teenagers and young adults and they continue to tell the public their product is completely safe. We remain confident that we will win this case and look forward to proving that Anais died as a direct result of her consumption of Monster Energy Drink."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also investigating a handful of other deaths to see if they were linked to Monster's drinks.

Monster shares inched higher Friday. The stock was trading as high as $79 a share last summer but after the allegations in the Fournier case it fell to $39. It has since recovered and is now trading at about $55.27.


Energy Drinks Trigger Depression and Anxiety

Energy drinks may trigger depression and anxiety in young men, says a study in the (aptly named) journal Depression and Anxiety. Among the thousand-plus 20-year-olds questioned, those who drank at least one 8.4-ounce energy drink a day reported higher anxiety—and as downing them became chronic and more frequent (six to eight servings daily), the anxiety worsened. Are energy drinks causing stress, or are already anxious drinkers just self-medicating? “We can’t yet say with certainty,” says study VIP Georgina Trapp, Ph.D., but “high caffeine consumption has been shown to be significantly associated with anxiety and panic disorders.” Plus, she adds, “other ingredients such as guarana and ginseng have also been linked to anxiety, irritability, nervousness, restlessness, tremors, and mania.” So keep an eye out, and adjust your intake accordingly.

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Monster Beverage Under Fire

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued Monster Beverage Corp. in California state court Monday, accusing the company of marketing its caffeinated energy drinks to children despite alleged health risks.

The lawsuit represents the latest effort by an increasing number of city, state and federal authorities to investigate or restrict the selling and marketing of energy drinks—which have quickly become an estimated $10 billion industry in the U.S. The drinks promise a kick from caffeine and other ingredients such as taurine and ginseng.

The suit also escalates a legal tussle between San Francisco and Monster, which sued the city last week in federal court. The Corona, Calif., company, the leading seller of energy drinks in the U.S. by volume, has accused Mr. Herrera of overstepping his authority by trying to force it to curb marketing and serving sizes, among other measures.

In Monday's lawsuit, filed in San Francisco, Mr. Herrera alleged Monster was violating California law by marketing its drinks to children as young as six years old, despite warnings from public-health authorities that highly caffeinated products can cause brain seizures and cardiac arrests among adolescents.

"Monster Energy is unique among energy drink makers for the extent to which it targets children and youth in its marketing, despite the known risks its products pose to young people's health and safety," Mr. Herrera said Monday.


Monster Lawsuit Raises Questions About Caffeine

After parents sue Monster over wrongful death, ABC News examines caffeine.

Caffeine Questions: How Much is Too Much?

Oct. 24, 2012— -- A wrongful death lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corp., and the release of Food and Drug Administration incident reports indicating that Monster Energy drinks might have been responsible for five deaths since 2009, have brought questions about death by caffeine back into the national spotlight.

Although death by caffeine is possible, it generally takes 5 to 10 grams of the stimulant to kill someone, toxicologists say. Anais Fournier, the 14-year-old Maryland girl at the heart of the lawsuit, whose parents allege the energy drinks caused her death, consumed 480 mg of caffeine over two days, or less than a gram of the stimulant.

"This dose would not be expected to be fatal in a normal person of that age," said Dr. Christopher Holstege, director of toxicology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

Then again, what's lethal depends on several factors, including a person's weight, medications and underlying health conditions. A 41-year-old woman lived after consuming 50 grams of caffeine, up to 10 times more than what's considered a lethal dose, according to a 2003 Journal of Toxicology article.

"It is very difficult to predict one's response to caffeine. Some people are more sensitive than others," said Bruce Goldberger, the director of toxicology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. "Therein lies the problem. If someone has an undiagnosed medical condition, they may ingest caffeine not knowing it may have a deleterious effect, such as a cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension or anxiety."

Fournier drank two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy during two consecutive day trips to the mall last December, before going into cardiac arrest at her home on Dec. 17, according to the criminal complaint filed in California Superior Court last week. She never regained consciousness and was taken off life support two days before Christmas.

Medical examiners determined that Fournier died of "cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity complicating mitral valve regurgitation in the setting of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome."

In other words, the caffeine caused her irregular heartbeat, but Fournier had a heart valve that was already leaking because of an underlying genetic disorder before she consumed the energy drinks.

"It would be difficult to specifically attribute caffeine as the primary cause of an aneurysm rupture and subsequent death in such a patient, even following high doses," Holstege said, adding that Ehlers-Danlos syndrome has several complications, including aortic and cerebral aneurysms.

Doctors never analyzed the caffeine in Fournier's blood, according to the autopsy report. The 480 mg figure stated in court documents comes from the knowledge that Fournier drank two 24-ounce cans, containing 240 mg of caffeine each.

It's possible that her caffeine consumption was underreported, which is a problem in the field of toxicology with teenagers and adults, said Marcel Casavant, the chief of toxicology at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio.

Fournier's parents claim in their lawsuit, among other allegations against Monster Beverage Corp., that the energy drink giant failed to warn consumers about the dangers of the high caffeine content in its beverages, and that the company uses names like "Assault" and "Dub Edition" to market its drinks to young people.

Labels on Monster cans do not say how much caffeine is inside, but they warn that the product is not recommended for children or people who are sensitive to caffeine. Depending on the size of the can, labels suggest limiting the number of cans consumed per day to two or three.

In its response to the lawsuit, Monster Beverage Corp. said in a statement that it was "saddened by the untimely passing of Anais Fournier. . Over the past 16 years, Monster has sold more than 8 billion energy drinks, which have been safely consumed worldwide. Monster does not believe that its beverages are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. Fournier. Monster is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks."

Since energy drinks are classified as dietary supplements, they are not limited to the FDA's 200 parts per million caffeine limit on sodas. (Coca Cola Classic has 30 to 35 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce can, but 12 ounces of the Monster drink Fournier consumed would have four times that.) The FDA, however, still keeps track of deaths and hospitalizations attributed to products, FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess told ABCNews.com.

Since 2004, 18 hospitalizations and five deaths have been reported in connection with Monster Energy drinks, according to reports obtained by ABCNews.com from the American Association for Justice. It is not clear from the reports whether the victims had underlying health conditions.

AAJ got the "adverse event" reports from Wendy Crossland, Fournier's mother, who submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the FDA for Monster-related health problems after her daughter's death. Other energy drink brands are not included in the reports.

The FDA has not launched a formal investigation of Monster Beverage Corp., Burgess said.

Monster Beverage Corp. stock fell by 10 percent this afternoon, after it fell by more than 14 percent on Monday, following news stories about the deaths.


Are Energy Drinks Safe? What You Need to Know About the Monster Energy Drink Death Investigation

The recent reports that the FDA is looking into five deaths possibly related to Monster Energy Drinks and the new wrongful death suit recently made against the company, should have you thinking twice before throwing any kind of energy drink back.

Concerns about energy drinks have existed almost as long as the beverages themselves, but the recent news of five deaths possibly related to Monster Energy drinks has reignited worries.

While caffeine is cited as a key ingredient in the death investigations, it&aposs caffeine in combination with other ingredients that make energy drinks such as Monster troublesome, says John P. Higgins M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. These ingredients include taurine, glucuronolactone, B vitamins, guarana, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, l-carnitine, sugars, antioxidants, and trace minerals.

"It is likely that there are effects due to the interaction of substances in energy beverages which have had little research done on them and are not well understood," he says. "In addition, most energy beverages also contain guarana, which contains high levels of caffeine, thus adding to the caffeine already present."

Excessive consumption of caffeine may cause caffeine intoxication, resulting in rapid heart rate, vomiting, hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood), cardiac arrest, seizures, and, yes, untimely death. A 24-ounce can of Monster contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, while the same amount of cola that has 70 to 80 milligrams. Experts say you should cap your daily caffeine intake 300 milligrams, and a new study by Consumer Reports found that some energy drinks have more caffeine than is listed on the label.

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Because caffeine isn&apost usually fatal until you reach numbers closer to 5 grams, David W. Kruse, M.D., primary care sports medicine specialist at the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, CA, suspects that a pre-existing condition probably also played a role in these deaths. "There are many factors that change that fatal threshold, such as co-existing medical conditions, hydration levels, and medication use," he says.

No matter what the ultimate cause of these deaths, if you sip energy drinks, forgo them before a workout. Many studies have shown that modest amounts of caffeine can improve performance during endurance exercise, but Dr. Kruse says these studies are done with elite or highly trained athletes.

"The ability to tolerate caffeine with exercise is based on fitness level, hydration status, pre-existing medical conditions, and medication use," he says. "For the recreational athlete or weekend warrior, consuming the amount of caffeine found in an energy drink is not necessary."

In fact, downing an energy drink before exercise can be downright dangerous since it can raise heart rate and blood pressure while at the same time the high level of caffeine may reduce arteries&apos ability increase the blood flow necessary to bring more oxygen and nutrients to the heart, Dr. Higgins says.

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Mixing energy drinks with alcohol is equally risky. This combo can impair cognitive function and reduce symptoms of alcohol intoxication, including the depressant effects, thus increasing the probability of accidents and the possibility of development of alcohol dependence, Dr. Higgins says.

"Individuals who are intoxicated are wired from the energy beverage, have a overinflated view of their current level of sobriety, and are likely to take more high-risk behavior due to feeling ‘okay,&apos &aposonly a little buzzed,&apos or &aposnot too drunk,&apos" he says. Spiked energy drinks may also increase arrhythmia in patients with underlying heart disease, he adds. "We have seen cases of young college students a rapid heart arrhythmia after consuming several energy-beverage-and-vodka drinks in one session."

Since the allegations, Monster has issued a statement saying, "Neither the science nor the facts support the allegations that have been made. Monster reiterates that its products are and have always been safe."

Tell us, do you drink energy drinks? Have you ever felt any negative effects?