What would happen if someone consumed lots of caffeine and an equivalent amount of sleeping pills?


Would they cancel out?

In: Biology

What kind of sleeping pills? Zzzquil or melatonin?

It depends what you mean by “lots”. Caffeine itself is toxic in large quantities and “lots” could well be fatal (more than 30 cups in a short space of time would be enough, or just 30 espressos).

Similarly, overdosing on sleeping pills would also be fatal. And trying to counter an overdose of one with an overdose of the other would not have the effect of cancelling each other out.

I would think it’d depend on the mechanism of the sleeping pill.

What would likely happen is they roughly cancel out except you now also suffer the off-target toxicities of each

You would feel gross. Providing no serious heart issues, that would be about it. “Equivalent” also not really a binary measurement, and taking a lot of either would be quite bad.