5-Hour Energy drink suspected of causing deaths


by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News


Posted on November 15, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 15 at 8:23 PM

HOUSTON -- The federal government is investigating possible links between the deaths of 13 people over the past few years and 5-Hour Energy Drinks.

The Food and Drug Administration has received almost 100 negative reports about the two-ounce energy shots. Those reports include 33 hospitalizations possibly linked to 5-Hour Energy.

If a link is discovered FDA officials said they may ban the product from the market. Lawmakers have also called for better labeling of energy drink products.

"I knew they were bad, but I didn't think they were that bad," said Jicky Kuruvilla, a University of Houston college student who admits to sometimes consuming energy drinks.

But a leading Houston cardiologist said the drinks, in moderation, should not hurt a healthy young person.

However Dr. Pranav Loylaka of the Center for Advanced Heart Failure said the energy beverages could absolutely prove deadly for someone with a heart problem.

"Energy drinks have a lot of caffeine in them and they can certainly send off rhythm problems within your heart," said Dr. Loylaka. "Some of them can be lethal."

Dr. Loylaka said heart patients should not consume energy drinks at all.

The FDA did not indicate when it would conclude its investigation of 5-Hour Energy Drinks.

Makers of energy drinks have been quoted defending their products saying they pose no threat when used properly, in moderation.

One UH student said he never touches energy drinks. His solution?

"Sleep, I sleep my normal eight hours probably," said Antonio Milian.