A white crystalline substance obtained from coﬀee, of which it is the active principle. Its main actions are as a cerebral stimulant, a cardiac stimulant, and a diuretic. It is a constituent of many tablets for the relief of headache, usually combined with aspirin and paracetamol, but its pain-killing properties are controversial. One unusual use is in treating apnoeic attacks in premature babies (see APNOEA).
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