Background: Status asthmaticus is severe acute exacerbation asthma that results in respiratory failure due to the failure of conventional treatment. Aminophylline is one of the methylxanthines used to manage status asthmaticus in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). However, aminophylline’s role in managing severe asthma among children is still controversial, and PICUs still use it. There is no data on using aminophylline in Saudi Arabia. This study aimed at assessing the use and causes of using aminophylline in the PICU and the perception of pediatricians on using aminophylline in the PICU.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on pediatric physicians working in PICUs employing pre-validated questionnaire. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences program was used to analyze the retrieved data.
Results: One hundred seventy-one pediatricians participated in the study; 85.4% reported IV aminophylline for acute asthma exacerbation, and 69% reported using it if the patient did not improve on other medications. About 68.4% and 83% considered IV aminophylline an effective and safe option, respectively. The side effects of IV aminophylline reported were arrhythmia at 75.3% and gastrointestinal tract side effects at 15.1%.
Conclusion: Aminophylline was found highly used in PICUs in Saudi Arabia; this can be attributed to the perception of pediatricians, as it is a safe and effective treatment option.
Key words: Aminophylline, causes, usage, status asthmaticus, pediatrics, PICU.