“Death of Coca-Cola ‘addict’ may be linked to her caffeine consumption”
June 5, 2020 | 1:47pm
Amy Louise Thorpe — a 34-year-old epileptic who guzzled roughly a six pack of the soft drink daily— was found dead on her bed in Invercargill after suffering from a seizure in December 2018, according to Stuff New Zealand.
The medical examiner investigating her death, David Robinson, only just recently released the findings of the case to warn the public of the hazards of consuming too much caffeinated soda — saying it may have inhibited her anti-seizure medication, leading to her death.
“In the case of Ms Thorpe, I think it is possible that excessive caffeine contributed to poor seizure control. While, modest intake of caffeine contained in drinks is not likely to affect seizure control, large amounts probably do increase seizures, and may have other adverse effects on health,” Graeme Hammond-Tooke, a neurologist consulted by the medical examiner, said in the report.
The report notes that caffeine and nicotine were found in Thorpe’s blood, and that she had a history of smoking and gestational diabetes.
After her death, her partner, who was not named, told police she was “addicted” to caffeine and often drank up to two liters of Coke a day along with energy drinks, according to the outlet.
“Amy had more energy drinks a day than people have coffee. She enjoyed her [energy] drinks and Coke,” her friend, Madonna Bresolini-Meikle, also told police.
She also had history depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, according to the outlet.
Ultimately, the medical examiner said evidence proving beyond a doubt that caffeine caused her death was “rather lacking.” But he noted that people who suffer from seizures should be aware of the dangers of caffeinated soft drink consumption.
“Caffeine lowers the efficacy of several drugs, especially Topiramate. It is unclear how these findings in models can be translated to the clinical condition,” the report notes. “It may be appropriate for patients with epilepsy to be cautioned as to the potential consequences of excessive caffeine use.”
In 2017, a medical examiner found a dangerous combination of caffeinated beverages led to the death of a South Carolina teen.
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