The novel combination of theophylline and bambuterol as a potential treatment of hypoxemia in humans.
Hypoxemia can be life-threatening, both acutely and chronically. Because hypoxemia causes vascular dysregulation that further restricts oxygen availability to tissue, it can be pharmacologically addressed. We hypothesized that theophylline can be safely combined with the β2-adrenergic vasodilator bambuterol to improve oxygen availability in hypoxemic patients. Ergogenicity and hemodynamic effects of bambuterol and theophylline were measured in rats under hypobaric and normobaric hypoxia (12% O2). Feasibility in humans was assessed using randomized, double-blind testing of the influence of combined slow-release theophylline (300 mg) and bambuterol (20 mg) on adverse events (AEs), plasma K+, pulse, blood pressure, and drug interaction. Both drugs and their combination significantly improved hypoxic endurance in rats. In humans, common AEs were low K+ (<3.5 mmol/L; bambuterol: 12, theophylline: 4, combination: 13 episodes) and tremors (10, 0, 14 episodes). No exacerbation or serious AE occurred when drugs were combined. A drop in plasma K+ coincided with peak bambuterol plasma concentrations. Bambuterol increased heart rate by approximately 13 bpm. Drug interaction was present but small. We report promise, feasibility, and relative safety of combined theophylline and bambuterol as a treatment of hypoxemia in humans. Cardiac safety and blood K+ will be important safety endpoints when testing these drugs in hypoxemic subjects.
Strand, T-E; Khiabani, HZ; Boico, A; Radiloff, D; Zhao, Y; Hamilton, KL; Christians, U; Klawitter, J; Noveck, RJ; Piantadosi, CA; Bell, C; Irwin, D; Schroeder, T
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