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    7-Eleven Pulls Energy Drink From Shelves

    The company's corporate-owned stores will no longer carry SPIKE Shooters following complaints from teens about side effects. Franchises will be advised to follow suit.

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- 7-Eleven's corporate owned stores pulled SPIKE Shooters, a new energy drink, from its shelves due to concerns about side effects experienced by teen drinkers. 7-Eleven Corp. is also working on a letter to franchises, suggesting the do the same, reported TheDenverChannel.com.

    A spokeswoman for 7-Eleven said Friday that SPIKE is a "non-recommended product from a non-approved vendor. There are more issues than just the product itself," she told TheDenverChannel.com, explaining that 7-Eleven has questions about how the product is distributed and the labeling.

    One Colorado Springs high school has banned the drink and several others sent warning letters home with students, telling parents about the beverage.

    Several students in Colorado Springs and the Denver area have experienced side effects so severe that they went to emergency rooms to be checked out, the report stated.

    "It was actually really hurting a lot of people, like speeding up their heart rate and making them sick," said Felicia Fawcett, a senior at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Colo. told TheDenverChannel.com. "I had a friend who actually ended up puking and had to go to the hospital for it."

    An 8.4-ounce can of Spike contains three times the caffeine of a cup of coffee and several herbal stimulants. It is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18, and cans are covered with warning labels, the report stated.

    Tim Patterson, CEO of the company said it is not meant for teens and that it should not be drunk in excess and that thousands of people are drinking it with no complaint.

    However, as the $3.4 billion caffeine energy-drink market explodes, apparent overdoses of the products are adding up with an increasing number of calls to poison control centers and visits to hospital emergency rooms, McClatchy Newspapers reported.

    "All over-the-counter medication, including caffeine drinks and supplements, are becoming widely abused by minors and adults alike," said Dr. Kenneth Scott Whitlow, a toxicologist and emergency room doctor at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and director of that state's poison control program. "They are perceived as safe, legal, you can buy them anywhere and they are popular."

    To comment on this or read others' views on energy drinks, visit CSNews' Spare Change Blog by clicking here.

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