Optimizing the management of children presenting with acute severe asthma is of utmost importance to minimize hospital stays, morbidity, and mortality. Intravenous medications, including theophyllines, are used as second-line treatments for children experiencing a life-threatening exacerbation. For intravenous theophylline (aminophylline), guidelines and formularies recommend a target therapeutic range between 10 and 20 mg/l, with the commonest regimen being a loading dose of 5 mg/kg followed by an infusion calculated by age and weight. This review assesses the evidence underpinning these recommendations, highlighting the shortcomings in our understanding of the association between serum concentrations achieved, dose given, and clinical improvement experienced. To close the knowledge gap and improve outcomes for children presenting with acute severe asthma, we propose a series of research strategies to improve the assessment of illness severity, ascertain the optimal dose to maximize benefit and minimize risk, prospectively collect adverse events, and to better understand the inter-individual variation in responses to treatments.
Paediatr Drugs (Paediatric drugs)
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