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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

Arrhythmogenic effects of combined orally administered theophylline and albuterol in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

1. Studies in asthmatic subjects have reported conflicting results about the arrhythmogenic effects of beta agonist and theophylline. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of the combination of these drugs in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 2. Twelve COPD patients (FEV1 = 1.2 +/- 0.3 L; PaO2 = 65.7 +/- 9.0 mmHg) were evaluated by 24-h Holter monitoring on three different days. The first evaluation was done after the patient had been without any treatment for at least 24 h, the second after sustained-release theophylline for one week and the third after oral beta agonist (albuterol) and theophylline for one week. 3. Mean serum level of theophylline was 1.9, 15.6 and 11.7 micrograms/ml, and mean heart rate was 78.3, 82.0 and 84.5 beats/min for the first, second and third period, respectively. Four patients showed more than 10 premature atrial contractions/h in the baseline Holter, and this rate did not increase after either treatment. Three patients had more than 10 premature ventricular contractions/h (PVC) at baseline, with no increase while receiving theophylline or the combination of theophylline and albuterol. However, one patient did have worsening of the arrhythmia while taking both drugs. There were 5 single PVCs/h at baseline and 150 single and 9 coupled PVCs/h plus 1 episode of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia during combined therapy. 4. We conclude that the combination of theophylline and a beta agonist (albuterol) may increase the premature ventricular contraction rate and the complexity of ectopic activity in COPD patients.[1]

References

  1. Arrhythmogenic effects of combined orally administered theophylline and albuterol in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cukier, A., Vargas, F.S., Teixeira, L.R., Grupi, C.J., Terra-Filho, M., Carvalho-Pinto, R.M., Light, R.W. Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. (1994) [Pubmed]
 
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