Theophylline: Risk Groups

Pregnant women:
Can be given. At the end of pregnancy: inhibits labour; tachycardia and increased excitability and vomiting possible in the neonate.

Nursing mothers:
About 70% of the maternal plasma concentration is reached in breast milk. Can be given nevertheless (but in low doses if possible).

Short half-life (except neonates)! If possible use slow release preparations (adequate for chidren) in long-term treatment. Dose: neonates (4 weeks and younger): 1-2 mg/kg twice daily; older neonates 1-3 mg/kg 1 to 3 times daily; children older than 1 year 16-20 mg/kg/day.

Elderly people:
Cautious titration of the dose and monitoring of plasma levels may be indicated. Particular caution with pulmonary edema, heart failure or reduced liver functions!

Renal failure:
No dose reduction necessary.

Liver insufficiency:
Prolongation of half-life (up to 30 hours) is significant with cirrhosis and moderate with other hepatic diseases. Reduce dose and establish plasma levels.

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