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    FDA probing if deaths were linked to energy shots

    Federal officials want to determine if there is a link between so-called energy shots and reports of 13 deaths.
    Spencer Platt/Getty Images
    Federal officials want to determine if there is a link between so-called energy shots and reports of 13 deaths.

    WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of 13 deaths possibly linked to so-called energy shots and is cautioning consumers to talk to their doctors before they use energy drinks.

    The agency has received 92 reports that cite illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths after consumption of 5-Hour Energy. It has also received reports that cited the highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drink in five deaths and one nonfatal heart attack.

    Officials said the reports don’t necessarily prove the drinks caused deaths or injuries. Officials said they will act if they can link the deaths to consumption of the drink.

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    The FDA is cautioning consumers that ‘‘energy shots’’ or ‘‘energy drinks’’ are not alternatives to sleep.

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    The agency does not regulate caffeinated drinks or supplements such as the energy shots but can take action if they are proven to do harm.

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    The company that makes the product, Living Essentials, said 5-Hour Energy is a ‘‘compact-size energy shot intended for busy adults — it is not an energy drink, nor marketed as a beverage.’’