The compounds known as xanthines, methylxanthines, or xanthine derivatives constitute a particularly interesting class of drugs. Since they possess diverse phar macological properties, there is always a question of where most appropriately to discuss them in a pharmacology text. The xanthines are clearly CNS stimulants, although not all have this characteristic equally. While the xanthines have legitimate therapeutic uses, by far the greatest public exposure to them is in xanthine-containing beverages, including coffee, tea, cocoa, and cola drinks. The popularity of xanthine-containing drinks appears to be related to its subtle CNS stimulant effect. It is primarily for this reason that xanthines are listed as CNS stimulants in this text.
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