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Theophylline blood levels in Sri Lankan asthmatics: comparison of two methods of assay

Authors:

AKE Goonetilleke ,

Department of Pharmacology, University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Nugegoda, LK
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TMJ Munasinghe,

Medical Research Institute, Colombo, LK
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HC Cooray,

Department of Pharmacology, University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Nugegoda, LK
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WK Balasuriya,

Department of Pharmacology, University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Nugegoda, LK
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N Fernando

LK
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Abstract

Objectives To assay theophylline blood levels in a sample of Sri Lankan chronic asthmatics taking oral theophylline, and to evaluate a simple and cost effective ultraviolet spectrophotometric assay for theophylline levels in blood.

Setting Chronic asthmatics taking oral theophylline attending medical clinics at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) were recruited for the study. Blood samples were collected from recruited patients on their subsequent clinic visit.

Design and methods A cross-sectional study of theophylline blood levels. Blood samples were assayed for trough theophylline levels using two methods: an automated homogeneous enzyme immunoassay (EMIT), and a low cost ultraviolet spectrophotometric method.

Results Only 2 patients of the 24 had theophylline blood levels in the accepted therapeutic range (10 to 20 ìg/ml) (3,4); 19 patients had levels under 5 ìg/ml. A correlation coefficient of 0.99 was obtained in the statistical comparison of the two methods, indicating that the spectrophotometric method has similar accuracy as the reference EMIT assay.

Conclusions The results signal a need for monitoring of theophylline in asthmatics when accepted clinical indications are present. The ultraviolet spectrophotometric method is ideal to initiate therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) in the country because of its low cost (about Rs. 55 per assay), requiring only a UV recording spectrophotometer.

(Index words: Theophylline, therapeutic drug monitoring, UV spectrophotometry)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v47i2.3452

CMJ 2002; 47(2): 50-51

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v47i2.3452
How to Cite: Goonetilleke, A., Munasinghe, T., Cooray, H., Balasuriya, W. and Fernando, N., 2011. Theophylline blood levels in Sri Lankan asthmatics: comparison of two methods of assay. Ceylon Medical Journal, 47(2), pp.50–51. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v47i2.3452
Published on 25 Aug 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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