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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 103-106

Effects of caffeine, theophylline, and aminophylline on electroconvulsive therapy: A review of evidence

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdulhamid Althagafi
Pharm. D. Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmau.jmau_19_21

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Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a highly efficacious treatment modality used to produce seizures in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorders and psychotic episodes. In general, ECT treatment is successful in most patients; however, in some populations, ECT fails to produce adequate response. Caffeine, theophylline, and aminophylline are documented to augment seizure activity in ECT. By inhibiting adenosine, these medications can improve ECT response rate in a certain patient population. Caffeine and aminophylline have been documented to prolong seizure duration. Theophylline has been shown to improve seizure duration along with decreasing seizure threshold. All of these medications have very minimal side effect profiles. This review will discuss up-to-date evidence on the effects of xanthine derivatives in patients receiving ECT treatment. Methods: A literature review of PubMed and EMBASE was performed for related studies. Results: Eight studies were included in our review. Premedication with caffeine, theophylline, or aminophylline was associated with increased seizure duration in patients suffering from mental disorders and were indicated to manage ECT. Conclusion: Xanthine derivatives prolong seizure duration in patients treated with ECT.

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