Theophylline poisoning

INTRODUCTION

Theophylline use has dramatically declined as safer therapies for asthma have been developed. However, serious toxicity is still reported and may require aggressive treatment of vomiting, tachyarrhythmias, and seizures, as well as extracorporeal elimination by hemodialysis.

This topic will review the clinical features and management of theophylline overdose in infants, children, and adults.

EPIDEMIOLOGY

Historically, theophylline has had two primary indications: as a bronchodilator for patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and as an agent to treat apnea and bradycardia in premature newborns.

Nevertheless, theophylline remains an important drug:

It is still used within the United States to treat apnea and bradycardia of prematurity and remains widely used in countries outside the United States as a bronchodilator.

                                 

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Literature review current through: Nov 2014. | This topic last updated: Oct 6, 2014.
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