Aminophylline is a drug that might help resuscitate patients in cardiac arrest when electrical activity is very slow or absent. Aminophylline may restore blood flow to the heart, improve electrical activity and make other drugs used in resuscitation more effective. We found five studies that included 1254 patients who had this type of cardiac arrest in the prehospital setting. Four of the five studies (1186 patients) were well-designed studies with low risk of bias. Although no adverse events were reported, aminophylline showed no advantage when it was added to the standard resuscitation practice of paramedics when compared with placebo in these patients. It is not known whether giving aminophylline sooner would be helpful.
This Cochrane systematic review was undertaken by staff at Dalhouise University, Halifax Canada and published on line on 23rd November 2015. More information including the full text can be found via this link.