A randomized, controlled, double-blind trial comparing two loading doses of aminophylline

J Perinatol. 2002 Jun;22(4):275-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.jp.7210737.


Objective: To compare 8 mg/kg and 6 mg/kg loading doses of aminophylline.

Study design: Sixty-one preterm infants weighing <1500 g were enrolled once a decision to administer intravenous aminophylline was made. A standard maintenance dose was used. Serum levels of theophylline were drawn 8 hours after the loading dose and before the fifth maintenance dose.

Results: After the initial loading dose, the 8 mg/kg group achieved recommended serum theophylline levels (7-12 microg/ml) more frequently than the 6 mg/kg group (39% vs 3%, p=0.002). Subsequent levels were similar between the groups. There were no increases in side effects with the higher loading dose.

Conclusion: If a clinical decision to start intravenous aminophylline therapy in preterm infants has been made, the use of an 8 mg/kg loading dose appears to be a better and safe way to quickly achieve serum theophylline levels within the recommended range.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aminophylline / administration & dosage*
  • Aminophylline / blood
  • Apnea / drug therapy*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Male


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Aminophylline