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Definition of Methylxanthines

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Updated April 02, 2009

Definition: A methylxanthine is a type of bronchodilator that is commonly used in the treatment of COPD. Bronchodilators work by relaxing the airways, making it easier to breathe. Although their mechanism of action is not clearly defined, methylxanthines are thought to contribute to an improvement in respiratory muscle strength.

Methylxanthines are given either orally or intravenously (through the vein).

Learn more about COPD medications and how to make sense out of your COPD inhalers.

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