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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4776

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(   1 ) What is the average number of milligrams of caffeine per tablet in the various types of compound analgesics available over the counter.

(2)   What is the average number of milligrams of caffeine in a cup of (a) tea, (b) coffee and (c) some brands of cola.

(3)   Are there any reasons why it is more deleterious to consume caffeine in analgesics than in beverages.

Dr Everingham - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) 30 milligrams, the average dose of 2 tablets providing 60 milligrams.

(2)   (a) 75 milligrams.

(b)   100 milligrams in percolated coffee, 75 milligrams in instant coffee.

(c)   22 milligrams are permitted in 1 50 millilitres, the volume of an average size cup.

(3)   Yes. Motivations to consume caffeine include physical tolerance or dependence and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms acquired by habituation to tea, coffee and analgesics compounded with caffeine. This dependence is undesirable because of the high incidence of kidney failure, peptic ulcer and other complications of excessive consumption of over-the-counter analgesics. Such risks are minimal or absent in the cases of the three beverages referred to.

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