Theophylline toxicity secondary to ciprofloxacin administration

J. Michael Spivey, Paul H. Laughlin, Thomas F. Goss, David E. Nix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We report the case of a 79-year-old woman who presented from a skilled nursing facility to the emergency department with signs and symptoms of theophylline toxicity and a serum theophylline concentration of 53.7 mg/L. The patient had been on a regular regimen of aminophylline for two months, with the addition of ciprofloxacin three days before arrival as the only identifiable potential cause of theophylline intoxication. She was monitored and treated conservatively with serial doses of activated charcoal, which resulted in a reduction of her serum theophylline level to a therapeutic concentration in 15 hours without adverse sequelae. The number of cases of theophylline intoxication secondary to concurrent ciprofloxacin administration is likely to increase, especially in nursing home populations, and it should be suspected when these patients present to the ED with the appropriate signs and symptoms. Management of theophylline intoxication should be based on clinical presentation as well as concentrations of the drug.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1131-1134
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1991


  • ciprofloxacin, interaction with theophylline
  • theophylline, interaction with ciprofloxacin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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