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Prophylactic methylxanthines for extubation in preterm infants

Henderson-Smart DJ, Davis PG
Published Online: 
28 March 2013

Using methylxanthines to help wean babies from mechanical ventilation might help some babies.

Methylxanthines are drugs (such as caffeine) that can help improve breathing in preterm babies (babies born early). They can be given to preterm babies when weaning from machine assisted breathing (extubation from mechanical ventilation) is planned. Importantly, methylxanthines appear to improve the chances of normal brain development in preterm babies coming off the ventilator.