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Caffeine-Free Guidelines in Preparation for a Stress Test

Caffeine will interfere with the results of your stress test. It is important to follow these instructions so that your test can be performed as scheduled, without delay.

Before the test

  • Avoid all products that contain caffeine for 24 hours before the test. In general, caffeine is found in coffee, tea, colas and other soft drinks, most chocolate products, as well as strawberries (these contain a small amount of caffeine), as caffeine will interfere with the results of the test. Also avoid decaffeinated or caffeine-free products for 24 hours before the test, as these product contain trace amounts of caffeine.
  • Since many over-the-counter medications contain caffeine (such as diet pills, NoDoz®, Excedrin® and Anacin®), DO NOT take any over-the-counter medication that contains caffeine for 24 hours before the test. Ask your physician, pharmacist or nurse if you have questions about other medications that may contain caffeine. Do not discontinue any medication without first talking with your physician.

Beverages to avoid that contain caffeine

  • Coffee (regular or decaffeinated)
  • Tea (regular or decaffeinated)
  • Regular and decaffeinated carbonated beverages including colas (regular or diet)
  • Energy drinks containing caffeine
  • Chocolate or coffee liquors
  • Chocolate milk, chocolate milkshakes, hot chocolate and chocolate drinks
  • Cocoa mix, malt powder, chocolate flavoring

Instead, try these beverages:

  • Fruit juices
  • Lemonade
  • Club soda
  • Tonic water

Foods to avoid that contain caffeine

  • All chocolate products including chocolate candies such as fudge, chocolate bars, chocolate-covered raisins, chocolate-covered nuts, brownies, cakes, eclairs
  • Chocolate ice cream or chocolate pudding
  • Chocolate-covered graham crackers or chocolate-flavored graham crackers

Please note: If you are not sure if a food or beverage contains caffeine, it is best not to eat or drink it.

Common over-the-counter medications containing caffeine

  • Actamin Super
  • Anacin Maximum Strength
  • Anacin Tablets and Caplets
  • Aspirin-Free Excedrin Caplets
  • Bayer Select Maximum Strength Headache Pain Relief
  • Dristan Capsules
  • Excedrin Caplets
  • Excedrin Caplets Extra-Strength
  • Excedrin Extra-Strength Caplets and Tablets
  • Goody’s Extra Strength Tablets
  • Goody’s Headache Powder
  • Midol Menstrual Maximum Strength Caplets
  • Midol for Cramps Maximum Strength Caplets
  • NoDoz
  • Pain Reliever Tablets
  • Vanquish Caplets
  • Vivarin

Common prescription medications containing caffeine

  • Cafergot suppositories (other names: Cafertrine, Cafetrate, Migergot, Wigraine)
  • Cafergot tablets (other names: Ercaf, ErgoCaff, Gotamine, Wigraine)
  • Darvon Compound 65 Puvules
  • Fiorinal capsules and tablets
  • Fiorinal with Codeine No. 3
  • Norgesic and Norgesic Forte; Norphadrine Forte
  • Triaminicin with Codeine tablets

Note: These are some of the more common medications containing caffeine; all medications containing caffeine are not listed. Always check the labels of over-the-counter medications for the caffeine content before taking them. Or, ask your physician, pharmacist or nurse about the caffeine content of prescription drugs.

Reviewed: 09/13

This information is about testing and procedures and may include instructions specific to Cleveland Clinic. Please consult your physician for information pertaining to your testing.

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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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