The increasing incidence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pulmonary infections in the cystic fibrosis (CF) population has prompted the investigation of innovative silver based therapeutics. The functionalization of the naturally occurring xanthine theobromine at the N1 nitrogen atom with an ethanol substituent followed by the methylation of the N9 nitrogen atom gives the N-heterocyclic carbene precursor 1-(2-hydroxyethyl)-3,7,9-trimethylxanthinium iodide. The reaction of this xanthinium salt with silver acetate produces the highly hydrophilic silver carbene complex SCC8. The in vitro antimicrobial efficacy of this newly synthesized complex was evaluated with excellent results on a variety of virulent and MDR pathogens isolated from CF patients. A comparative in vivo study between the known caffeine derived silver carbene SCC1 and SCC8 demonstrated the ability of both complexes to improve the survival rates of mice in a pneumonia model utilizing the clinically isolated infectious strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA M57-15.