Pharmacokinetics of theophylline: a dose-range study

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1982 Dec;14(6):769-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1982.tb02035.x.


1 Pharmacokinetics of theophylline were investigated in a group of healthy adult volunteers (non smokers and on xanthine-free diet) following single oral administration of 125, 250, 375 and 500 mg doses as tablets (Theodel). 2 Absorption of theophylline was rapid and followed first-order kinetics. Plasma curves were fitted according to a one compartment open model. 3 There was a linear relationship (P less than 0.001) between plasma Cmax or AUCx values and the administered dose. The analysis of variance showed that the pharmacokinetic parameters of theophylline (t1/2 abs, tmax, t1/2 beta, CL, CLR, Vd and F) were not modified at any dose. 4 Absorption of the drug was complete since the recovery in urine of theophylline (13.7 to 16.8% of the dose) and its major metabolites, 1,3-dimethyluric acid (35 to 42%), 1-methyluric acid (21.3 to 26.7%) and 3-methylxanthine (11.5 to 13.7%), accounted for the administered dose. Some impairment of demethylation to 3-methylxanthine was observed in two subjects, however the percentage of theophylline and its major metabolites excreted in urine was constant for all the four doses. 5 On the basis of these results, after single oral administration, elimination of theophylline followed first-order kinetics in the range of doses investigated (1.62 to 10.42 mg/kg).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biotransformation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Theophylline / administration & dosage
  • Theophylline / metabolism*
  • Theophylline / urine


  • Theophylline