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Physical dependence on caffeine is characterized by time-limited biochemical, physical, and/or behavioral disruptions in response to a significant reduction in caffeine intake after a period of regular use. These disruptions are referred to as caffeine withdrawal. The following five caffeine withdrawal symptom clusters are described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5): (1) headache, (2) fatigue or drowsiness, (3) difficulty concentrating, (4) mood disturbances (e.g., irritability, depressed mood), and (5) flu-like symptoms (e.g., nausea, muscle aches). Caffeine withdrawal syndrome is defined by the DSM-5 as the presence of three or more of these five symptom clusters after abruptly stopping or reducing caffeine, resulting in clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

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