Theophylline is commonly prescribed for pediatric patients with asthma, other forms of reactive airway disease, and apnea of prematurity.1-3 This statement is to remind physicians of the necessity to reduce the dosage pf theophylline and to monitor the patient's serum concentration to prevent increased risk of toxicity when the drug is administered in the presence of acute febrile illness or in combination with certain medications.

The serum Concentration of theophylline must be maintained within a relatively narrow range to achieve optimal therapeutic benefit while avoiding toxic side effects. While patients with milder airway disease may benefit from serum concentrations below 10 mg/L, the greatest likelihood of obtaining maximal bronchodilitation with reasonable safety is achieved with peak serum concentrations between 10-20 mg/L.4-7

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