The Population Pharmacokinetics of Theophylline in Neonates and Young Infants

Publication: J Pharmacokinet Biopharm
Division: Cognigen


The population pharmacokinetics of theophylline were evaluated using 391 theophylline serum concentration measurements from 108 neonates and young infants (postnatal age 0-26 weeks), who received theophylline for the treatment of neonatal apnea. A one-compartment pharmacokinetic model with first-order elimination was used, with intravenous aminophylline and oral theophylline administration modeled as zero-order infusions. The effect of a variety of developmental and demographic factors on clearance (CL) and volume (V) were investigated. Hypothesis testing to evaluate potentially significant factors produced a final model in which clearance was based on weight (kg) raised to an exponential power and postnatal age (weeks), with CL (ml/hr) = 17.5 (weight)1.28 + 1.17 (postnatal age). Clearance was reduced by 12% for patients receiving parenteral nutrition. Volume of distribution in this population was adequately described using only weight, with V (L) = 0.858 L/kg. Bioavailability of orally administered drug was not significantly less than unity. Interindividual variability in clearance was modest, with a coefficient of variation for clearance of 16%. An estimate of interindividual variability in volume could not be obtained. As a measure of residual variability in theophylline serum concentrations, the coefficients of variation for theophylline serum concentrations of 5.0, 10.0, and 13.0 mg/L were found to be approximately, 25, 12, and 9%, respectively. The identification of influential patient factors and the quantification of their influence on theophylline disposition allow for a priori estimates of theophylline pharmacokinetic parameters in these patients.

By Moore ES, Faix RG, Banagale RC, Thaddeus H. Grasela