The so-called xanthine (or caffeine) group of drugs is generally regarded1 as consisting of caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. Caffeine has long been considered practically useless, so far as its diuretic action in human beings is concerned, and the term "xanthine diuretic" is therefore restricted to theobromine and theophylline, both of which are frequently employed in combination with other substances. Of these combinations, theobromine sodiosalicylate (diuretin) is probably the best known and the most widely employed at the present time. Theophylline, as Christian2 has sagely remarked, "is in the pharmacopeia but not in the pharmacy"; the cost of its commercial production from tea is so great that the synthetic preparation, theocin, is the only one available for clinical use.
Although these drugs have been in use for a long period of years, there is a surprising lack of clinical studies on which their intelligent employment in cardiac patients may
MARVIN HM. THE VALUE OF THE XANTHINE DIURETICS IN CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE. JAMA. 1926;87(25):2043–2046. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680250001001
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