Influence of different methylxanthines on the anticonvulsant action of common antiepileptic drugs in mice

Epilepsia. 1990 May-Jun;31(3):318-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1990.tb05382.x.


The protective activity of carbamazepine (CBZ, 60 min before testing), phenobarbital (PB, 120 min), phenytoin (PHT, 120 min), and valproate (VPA, 30 min) alone or concurrent with methylxanthine derivatives was evaluated against maximal electroshock-induced seizures (MES) in male mice. All drugs were administered intraperitoneally (i.p.), and the protection offered by antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) was expressed as ED50 in mg/kg. Caffeine sodium benzoate in doses of 0.0595-0.476 mmol/kg (11.55-92.4 mg/kg) distinctly reduced the anticonvulsant efficacy of PB, in the highest dose tested with an increase in ED50 value from 19.5 to 38 mg/kg. This methylxanthine derivative in the dose range of 0.119-0.476 mmol/kg (23.1-92.4 mg/kg) also efficiently inhibited the protective action of PHT. When combined with caffeine (0.238 and 0.476 mmol/kg), the ED50 of PHT was raised from 12 to 17 and 24 mg/kg, respectively. In doses of 0.238 and 0.476 mmol/kg, caffeine also diminished the efficacy of CBZ and VPA, and at the highest dose tested the methylxanthine elevated the respective ED50s from 13 to 20.5 mg/kg and from 270 to 420 mg/kg. Generally caffeine sodium benzoate (up to 0.476 mmol/kg) did not affect the plasma levels of studied AEDs, and only at 0.476 mmol/kg did it significantly decrease the level of PHT. Among the other methylxanthines, pentoxifylline (0.238-0.476 mmol/kg; 66.3-132.5 mg/kg) and diprophylline (0.952 mmol/kg; 242.1 mg/kg) inhibited the protective potential of PHT and the respective ED50s were raised from 12 to 16.5, 15.5, and 14 mg/kg. No significant alterations in PHT plasma levels were observed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / blood
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Drug Interactions
  • Dyphylline / pharmacology
  • Electroshock
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Pentoxifylline / pharmacology
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Seizures / prevention & control*
  • Xanthines / pharmacology*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Xanthines
  • Dyphylline
  • methylxanthine
  • Caffeine
  • Pentoxifylline