HELP - How to dissolve isobutylmethylxantine

Michael Clark michael-clark at
Thu Oct 12 00:22:10 EST 1995

Sinji Tauhata wrote:

>I would like to know how to dissolve isobutylmethylxantine [IBMX]. I saw in >a reference that I should use water, but I tried at ~150 uM at it didn't 
>dissolve at all. 

You're right it won't.  And if your using it on living cells, don't try
dissolving it in ethanol.  You'll have to have the drug so dilute that
you'll pickle your cells.  Had the same problem last year.  Everyone
uses the stuff but nobody tells you how to dissolve it!

We dissolve IBMX in dilute NaOH.  For a final concentration of 0.5mM, a
100X stock can be prepared using 11.5mg IBMX per mL of 100X stock
desired.  Add about 0.5mL water for every 1mL final stock and vortex or
stir to disperse the drug.  Add NaOH solution (1M works well) dropwise
while stirring or vortexing until the IBMX goes into solution.  Then
add enough water to make the correct final volume.  Aliquots frozen at
-20 may ppt.  If they do, heating usually gets the drug back into

--Michael Clark
--University of Iowa
--michael-clark at

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