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Aminophylline Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Aminophylline is also known as: Phyllocontin, Truphylline

Aminophylline Pregnancy Warnings

Aminophylline (theophylline) has been assigned to pregnancy category C by the FDA. Animal studies of theophylline have revealed evidence of embryolethality and teratogenicity. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Aminophylline is only recommended for use during pregnancy when there are no alternatives and benefit outweighs risk.

The Collaborative Perinatal Project monitored 193 women with first trimester exposure to theophylline or aminophylline and found no increased risk of malformations. Cord serum concentrations and infant serum concentrations have been reported to approximate the mother's serum concentrations immediately following birth. In 12 mothers receiving aminophylline, maternal serum, cord serum, and infant serum theophylline concentrations averaged 10 mcg/mL at the time of delivery. Jitteriness, irritability, and vomiting have been reported in infants of mothers maintained on theophylline or aminophylline prior to delivery. Apnea has been reported in an infant born after 37.5 weeks gestation to a mother who had been maintained on theophylline throughout pregnancy for asthma. At approximately 48 hours after birth, the infant's serum theophylline concentration was 15 mcg/mL. The infant was placed on theophylline when the concentration measured 2 mcg/mL. Apnea resolved when the theophylline concentration reached 17 mcg/mL. The pharmacokinetics of theophylline have been studied in women during pregnancy. Studies throughout pregnancy have noted a significant decrease in the clearance of theophylline during the third trimester. The clearance was only slightly decreased during the first and second trimester. The plasma protein binding of theophylline also has been shown to decrease in the later stages of pregnancy. It is important to closely monitor the theophylline serum concentration and the patient for signs of toxicity during pregnancy.

Aminophylline Breastfeeding Warnings

Aminophylline (theophylline) is excreted in human milk and may cause irritability or other signs of mild toxicity. The concentration of theophylline in breast milk is approximately equivalent to the maternal serum concentration. The manufacturer states that serious adverse effects in the infant are unlikely unless the mother has toxic serum theophylline concentrations. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers theophylline to be compatible with breast-feeding.

In a study of five women given aminophylline, theophylline was detected in milk with a milk:serum ratio of 0.61 to 0.87. The peak milk concentration occurred between one and three hours after ingestion of the dose. Irritability was reported in one infant whose mother took aminophylline. Adverse effects were not reported in the infants of the other women participating in this study. Exposure to the infant can be minimized by nursing prior to administration of aminophylline to avoid peak milk concentrations.

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