Pharmacokinetic aspects of caffeine in premature infants with apnoea

R. Gorodischer, M. Karplus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Scopus citations


    The pharmacokinetics of caffeine was examined in 13 premature infants (gestational age 25-34 weeks, birth weight 920-2060 g, postnatal age 1-42 days) who received the drug for treatment of opnoea. Caffeine (1% aqueous solution) was given i.v. in single doses; guided by the clinical response infants received between one and seven (mean 2.6) doses of 15 mg/kg. Mean (± SE; range) Clb was extremely slow - 8.5 ml/kg/h (±0.4; 5.8-12.2), t1/2 was prolonged - 65.0 h (±3.7; 48.2-87.5 h) and Vd was 0.781/kg (±0.04; 0.47-1.01). No significant correlation was found between Clb, t1/2 and postnatal age in the whole group or in individual infants. Effective plasma concentrations varied over a wide range (12-36 μg/ml) and overlapped with subtherapeutic concentrations (≤24 μg/ml). Single doses of 15 mg/kg i.v. or p.o. prevented apnoea in most cases, if necessary followed by additional doses. Monitoring the blood level of caffeine in infants receiving frequent repeated doses is necessary to prevent toxicity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-52
    Number of pages6
    JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 1982


    • apnoea
    • caffeine
    • pharmacokinetics
    • premature infants

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pharmacology
    • Pharmacology (medical)


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