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5-HOUR ENERGY IS CITED IN REPORTS ON 13 DEATHS

New York Times

Federal officials have received reports of 13 deaths in the past four years that cited the possible involvement of 5-Hour Energy, a highly caffeinated energy shot, according to Food and Drug Administration records and an interview with an agency official.

The disclosure of the reports is the second time in recent weeks that FDA filings citing energy drinks and deaths have emerged. Last month, the agency acknowledged it received five fatality filings mentioning the energy drink Monster Energy.

Since 2009, 5-Hour Energy has been mentioned in some 90 filings with the FDA, including more than 30 that involved serious or life-threatening injuries including heart attacks, convulsions and, in one case, a spontaneous abortion, said the New York Times.

The filing of an incident report with the FDA does not mean a product was responsible for a death or an injury or contributed in any way to it. Such reports can be fragmentary in nature and difficult to investigate.

The distributor of 5-Hour Energy, Living Essentials of Farmington Hills, Mich., did not respond to written questions about the filings, and its top executive declined to be interviewed. Living Essentials is a unit of the product's producer, Innovation Ventures.

Since the public disclosure of reports about Monster Energy, its producer, Monster Beverage of Corona, Calif., has repeatedly said its products are safe.

5-Hour Energy is sold in a 2-ounce bottle. The company does not disclose the amount of caffeine in each bottle, but a recent article published by Consumer Reports placed that level at about 215 milligrams. An 8-ounce cup of coffee, depending on how it is made, can contain from 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine.

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