Theophylline (1,3-Dimethylxanthine)


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Subject: Theophylline (1,3-Dimethylxanthine)

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  • A naturally occurring (tea) xanthine derivative with diuretic, cardiac stimulant, and smooth muscle relaxant properties. Other names: Theo-Dur, Uniphyl, Slo-bid, and Theolair.

  • Normal range:

    • 0–5 months: 6–12 μg/mL

    • Greater than 6 months: 10–20 μg/mL


  • As a bronchodilator to prevent and treat asthma


  • Potentially toxic: 20–25 μg/mL


  • Serum: Quantitative immunoassay limitations

    • FPIA, chemiluminescence, EMIT, particle-enhanced turbidimetric inhibition immunoassay.

    • Do not use serum separator tubes or gels. Separate serum from cells as soon as possible.

    • The incidence of patients having antibodies to Escherichia coli β-galactosidase is extremely low. However, some samples containing such antibodies may result in artificially high results that do not fit the clinical profile.

    • Due to cross-reactivity with 1,3-dimethyluric acid (metabolite), the assay should not be used to quantitate samples from uremic patients.

    • If mouse antibodies are utilized, the possibility exists for interference by human antimouse antibodies (HAMA) in the sample, which could cause falsely elevated results.