Document Detail

Controversies surrounding xanthine therapy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15050217     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The methylxanthines aminophylline, theophylline and caffeine have been used for more than 30 years to treat apnoea of prematurity. Today, they are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in neonatal medicine. Methylxanthines reduce the frequency of idiopathic apnoea and the need for mechanical ventilation by acting as non-specific inhibitors of adenosine A(1) and A(2a) receptors. However, recent and rapidly growing research into the actions of adenosine and its receptors raises concerns about the safety of methylxanthine therapy in very preterm infants. Possible adverse effects include impaired growth, lack of neuroprotection during acute hypoxic-ischaemic episodes and abnormal behaviour. An international controlled clinical trial is underway to examine the long-term efficacy and safety of methylxanthine therapy in very low birth weight babies.
David Millar; Barbara Schmidt
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Seminars in neonatology : SN     Volume:  9     ISSN:  1084-2756     ISO Abbreviation:  Semin Neonatol     Publication Date:  2004 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-03-30     Completed Date:  2004-09-14     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9606001     Medline TA:  Semin Neonatol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  239-44     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Paediatrics, McMaster University, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5.
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MeSH Terms
Adenosine / therapeutic use
Apnea / drug therapy*
Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects*,  therapeutic use*
Heart Rate / drug effects
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature
Infant, Premature, Diseases / drug therapy*
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use
Xanthine / adverse effects*,  therapeutic use*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Central Nervous System Stimulants; 0/Vasodilator Agents; 58-61-7/Adenosine; 69-89-6/Xanthine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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