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Salivary theophylline estimation in the management of asthma in children.
  1. S. M. Lena,
  2. P. Hutchins,
  3. C. B. Wood,
  4. P. Turner


    Simultaneous sampling was performed to determine whether saliva could replace plasma in the monitoring of theophylline dosages. Forty-eight children with moderate to severe asthma received oral theophylline preparation (usually sustained release) on a daily basis. They provided simultaneous saliva and plasma samples at routine out-patient visits. Saliva and plasma theophylline concentrations showed a wide variation between individuals, and their ratios also differed. Saliva theophylline concentrations below 7 micrograms/ml reflect plasma concentrations below 10 micrograms/ml, i.e. sub-therapeutic, while saliva concentrations above 7 micrograms/ml are consistent with therapeutic dosage. Estimation of saliva theophylline concentration on routine visits avoids the discomfort of blood sampling. It reflects whether daily oral theophylline dosage in childhood asthma is below or within the therapeutic range. The need for changes in dosage and the degree of patient-compliance with therapy can be usefully indicated.

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