DTP: Caffeine Withdrawal (just for funzies, but sort of srs too)

Joan is at risk of experiencing symptoms of caffeine withdrawal (e.g. headache, irritability) secondary to abrupt discontinuation of coffee and caffeine pill intake, and would benefit from counselling on slow tapering.

Goals of Therapy: Improve quality of life, relieve/prevent symptoms of caffeine withdrawal (headache, irritability), prevent adverse effects of caffeine (palpitations, tremors).

Therapeutic Options:

  1. Stop cold turkey.
  2. Decrease gradually by 1/2-1 cup or 1 pill per day every 1-2 days until 0.
  3. Go on vacation and utilize the art of distraction to dampen the withdrawal symptoms.


Recommendation: A combination of 2 + 3.

Follow-up: Patient accepted recommendation. She usually drinks 2 coffees a day + 1-2 caffeine pills; yesterday she only drank 1 coffee and 2 caffeine pills, and today she managed with just a single coffee. She is also leaving tonight to go on vacation to Taipei and Hong Kong for a week and a bit, which will most likely be an effective adjunctive therapy.


All jokes aside, it is finally vacation time. It is quite surreal how half of residency is now over, and I’m still a living, breathing, laughing, and sane human being! I have completed each of my rotations with progressive improvement in process and knowledge, with positive and constructive feedback from my preceptors, and my progress was just validated yesterday when I passed my oral assessment, which I had been especially preparing for over the last couple of months. Now I can relax for a teensy bit, and finally be able to look forward to my trip to Taipei and Hong Kong – leaving tonight around midnight! This is also an opportune time to go through a bit of caffeine withdrawal – when I return, my caffeine tolerance will have gone down and I will be in a better place to begin caffeination again when my rotations begin.

This past 24 hours has been crazy – I hadn’t been able to fully embrace my excitement for vacation until I learned the results of my oral assessment, so it’s been quite the frenzy with seeing my best friend, packing, running errands, and getting in my last workout before my week of gluttony in Asia. Putting my graduation photo into a nice picture frame to gift to my Grandma in Hong Kong made me realize how excited I am to get to see her and to spend Christmas with her. Needless to say, I am also extremely excited for the food, shopping, and sight-seeing in Taipei and Hong Kong! However, it’s not all play, and no work – in whatever spare time I have during my trip, I will be doing readings and preparing for my Academic Day Seminar, as well as other residency things.

I will also attempt to write a travel blog every day to document all the memorable things that I will have seen and done! My experience with travel blogging is that I am usually not compliant, but given that this time, I will have my tablet and a keyboard, it should be easier for me to keep it rolling. 🙂


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