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PTD - 300

Test Directory - Theophylline


Aminophylline, Nuelin

Clinical Indications

Theophylline levels are required if i.v. aminophylline is being considered for patients already taking oral theophylline preparations, as serious toxic side effects may occur. Measurement of theophylline levels may be helpful if no clinical improvement is seen on increasing doses, in confirming toxicity and management of the overdosed patient and in patients where compliance may be an issue.

Request Form

Combined Pathology Blood form (Yellow/Black)


On request

In management of theophylline overdose, levels may be measured urgently under the following circumstances (please contact Clinical Biochemistry)
(a) if there is doubt about the clinical severity of poisoning
(b) in all patients with severity grades 3 and 4.
For full details of patient management see Toxbase.

Specific Criteria


Patient Preparation

Samples should preferably be collected pre-dose.

Turnaround Time

Same day




2 ml


Yellow top (SST) tube or

Paediatric orange top (lithium-heparin)

Causes for Rejection

Not meeting specific criteria for analysis.

Reference Range

Therapeutic range: 10 -20 mg/L


Healthy adults: 3 - 13 hours (reduced in smokers)

Lab. Handling

Processing: Analysed from primary tube and stored at 4C in the cold room (CB23) (STHE & analyse; BPRO & save)

Version 1.0 / February 2015                                                                                                    Approved by: Consultant Biochemist