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Xanthines / Methylxanthines

Respiratory Drugs
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Xanthine is a purine base that can be found in a majority of body tissue and fluid. It can also be found in some plants which are used for some medicinals. Methylxanine is a methylated derivative of xanthine.
Three important classes of methylxanthines are caffeine, and theobromine, as well as, theophylline and its synthetic analog aminophylline (theophylline ethylenedamine), which has shorter duration of action, is less potent (being more water soluble causing less GI irritation), and contains only 78%-86% theophylline which should be considered when dosing.

Major sources of the these methylxanine chemical/drugs can be found in some drinks like coffee, cocoa, cola nut (used in cola drinks), black teas, and food products such as chocolates.

Methylxanthines produce bronchial smooth muscle relaxation which helps to dilate constricted airways, stimulates diuresis to help relieve congestion, and acts as a mild cardiac and central nervous system stimulant.

They are well absorbed and readily distributed in the body, however if the gastrointestinal state is poor then oral absorption will be erratic.

The methylxanthines are partially metabolized in the liver and excreted in the urine.

Posted on June 23, 2003, 16:28, Last updated on February 13, 2008, 14:41 | Respiratory Drugs

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