Grandmother loco after drinking Four Loko

November 11, 2010 8:51:30 PM PST
A Raleigh grandmother says she popped open a can of Four Loko this week to test the dangers.Four Loko is the alcoholic drink that's packed with caffeine and is at the center of a national controversy after several teenagers have gotten really ill after drinking it.

The Raleigh grandmother, who is a registered nurse, says she decided to find out for herself what it's like to consume the drink.

The woman says she has seven grandchildren and when she heard all the stories about what has been dubbed "blackout in a can," she was concerened.

"I think Loko is a good name for this product, because you're out of sorts," Nancy Cummings said.

She says she felt a little loco or crazy after drinking half a can.

"I woke up the next morning feeling the worst I've ever felt in my life, honestly," she said.

Cummings says her experiment is not scientific by any means, but that she just wanted to see how the drink --a potent mixture of alcohol and stimulants including caffeine-- would affect her blood pressure and pulse.

"At 6:30 p.m. when I began, my vital signs were 116 over 64," she said.

Cummings consumed four ounces of the drink every half hour, recording her vitals each time. She says her blood pressure reached 192 over 136 and her pulse raced to 154 beats per minute.

"I felt paranoid," she said. "I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest, I felt like I couldn't control my breathing."

Cummings says she felt so sick, she had to stop the experiment with 16 ounces left. She says she feels the drink is dangerous and so does Anne Doolen of the Alcohol and Drug Council of North Carolina.

"I'm really, really concerned about this one, particularly because it's so clearly being marketed to kids," Doolen said. "If you look at the cans, they look like the kind of things that young teenage girls would be attracted to."

Both women say they want the product banned before someone gets hurt.

"If you're not careful, you could kill yourself with this," Cummings said.

Several states have banned sales of caffeinated drinks like Four Loko, however, North Carolina is not one of them.

North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control is keeping tabs on Four Loko, but says it doesn't have plans to ban the product.

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