Worsening symptoms in intensive care patients may just be a sign of caffeine or nicotine withdrawal and not warrant any costly tests, doctors warn

Caffeine and nicotine withdrawal is being mistaken among intensive care patients for more sinister conditions, researchers fear.

They said doctors may be wasting both time and money by sending patients who have gone cold turkey for extra tests if they are worsening.

Giving up nicotine and caffeine can cause the shakes and nausea – symptoms that can mimic life-threatening illnesses such as meningitis.

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