FDA investigating deaths linked to caffeinated energy drinks

"FDA is continuing to investigate reports of illness, injury or death of people who took products marketed under the label 5-Hour Energy," spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said on Thursday.

There have been a total of 92 patient reports, including 33 hospitalisations and 13 deaths, she said.

She emphasised, however, that "the existence of an adverse event report does not necessarily mean that the product identified in the report actually caused the adverse event".

The drinks, made by US company Living Essentials, contain caffeine, taurine, phenylalanine and other stimulants.

The company website does not state the exact caffeine content. It says the original version contains the equivalent of a cup of “leading premium coffee” and that the extra strength version contains the equivalent of 12 ounces of leading premium coffee.

It warns that no more than two bottles should be consumed daily and that they should be taken several