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Acute caffeine in subjects who do not normally ingest methylxanthines leads to increases in blood pressure, heart rate, plasma epinephrine, plasma norepinephrine, plasma renin activity, and urinary catecholamines. Using a double-blind design, the effects of chronic caffeine administration on these same variables were assessed. Near complete tolerance, in terms of both humoral and hemodynamic variables, developed over the first 1-4 d of caffeine. No long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure, heart rate, plasma renin activity, plasma catecholamines, or urinary catecholamines could be demonstrated. Discontinuation of caffeine ingestion after 7 d of administration did not result in a detectable withdrawal phenomenon relating to any of the variables assessed.