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Respir Med. 2016 Mar;112:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2016.01.022. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

The potential of methylxanthine-based therapies in pediatric respiratory tract diseases.

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Official College of Pharmacists of Gipuzkoa, 20006 San Sebastian, Spain. Electronic address:
Neuroscience Department, Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain. Electronic address:
Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain; CIBERNED, Centro de Investigación en Red, Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28049 Madrid, Spain; Institute of Biomedicine of the University of Barcelona, IBUB, 08028, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:


Caffeine, theophylline and theobromine are the most known methylxanthines as they are present in coffee, tea and/or chocolate. In the last decades, a huge experimental effort has been devoted to get insight into the variety of actions that these compounds exert in humans. From such knowledge it is known that methylxanthines have a great potential in prevention, therapy and/or management of a variety of diseases. The benefits of methylxanthine-based therapies in the apnea of prematurity and their translational potential in pediatric affections of the respiratory tract are here presented.


Airways; Apnea of prematurity; Asthma; Caffeine; Cough; Theobromine; Theophylline; Xanthine

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