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May 10, 1976

Intravenous Aminophylline Dosage: Use of Serum Theophylline Measurement for Guidance

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pediatrics and pharmacology, University of Iowa Hospitals, Iowa City (Dr Weinberger); the Pulmonary Division, Yale-New Haven Medical Center, New Haven, Conn (Dr Matthay); and the Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver (Drs Ginchansky, Chidsey, and Petty). Dr Ginchansky was a Fellow in Pediatric Allergy and is now at the National Jewish Hospital, Denver.

JAMA. 1976;235(19):2110-2113. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260450022023

A practical method for monitoring serum theophylline concentrations has been used to investigate intravenous aminophylline dosage requirements. Initial serum theophylline concentrations were found to vary widely and correlate poorly with drug history. Aminophylline loading doses determined from these values more frequently resulted in drug concentrations in the therapeutic range (10μg to 20μg/ml) than when therapy was given without knowledge of serum theophylline concentrations. Continuous intravenous aminophylline therapy administered in a standardized dosage (0.9 mg/kg/hr in adults and 1.0 mg/kg/hr in children) produced variable and often excessive serum concentrations. This resulted from variable drug clearance rates, which in adults averaged 0.64±0.38 ml/kg/min (mean±SD), only half that previously reported. These observations suggest that it is not possible to achieve optimal therapeutic aminophylline dosage without monitoring serum theophylline concentrations.

(JAMA 235:2110-2113, 1976)