The federal government is investigating claims that 13 people have died over the past four years after drinking 5-Hour Energy. Another 33 hospitalizations linked to the popular energy shot were reported in that same time period, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
FDA officials said they will take action if the deaths can be directly linked to the drink. That could include forcing the company to take the drinks off the market.
A spokeswoman for the company that makes the product, Michigan-based Living Essentials, told the Associated Press that the energy shot is "intended for busy adults" and is not marketed as a beverage. Elaine Lutz said the company is not aware of any deaths proven to have been caused by their product.
The new FDA filings mark the second time in a month that the agency has confirmed it is investigating energy drinks. In October, the FDA said Monster Energy, another popular drink that contains even more caffeine, was allegedly linked to five deaths. One victim, 14-year-old Anais Fournier of Maryland, allegedly died after drinking two Monster Energy beverages within 24 hours. Her parents are now suing the beverage company.