Caffeine is used in neonates as a CNS stimulant to treat apnoea
of prematurity. It is used in preference
to theophylline since dose regimes are simpler, effects
more predictable and toxicity is less of a problem.
The reduced toxicity of caffeine and more predictable effects
combine to reduce the need for therapeutic monitoring and a
satisfactory clinical response can usually be obtained on standard
dose regimes without the need for monitoring
Request on ICE
Analysed by referral laboratory if specific criteria met.
Monitoring is rarely useful but may be valuable if response is
inadequate despite apparently adequate dosing or if unexpected
toxicity develops. Symptoms of toxicity in neonates include
jitteriness and gastrointestinal disturbance.
Samples should be collected 90-120 minutes post-dose, i.e. at
Serum in red top tube.
Aliquot and store at 4C. Samples should be posted as soon as
Sent to referral laboratory (Llandough Toxicology
Causes for Rejection
Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled sample; not meeting specific
criteria for analysis; inadequate clinical information; incorrect
Target Range: 5-20 mg/L
To convert from mg/L to µmol/L multiply by 5.15