Caffeine citrate for apnea of prematurity—One dose does not fit all a prospective study

Chava Rosen*, Camilia Taran, Marwan Hanna, Itai Gueta, Ronen Loebstein, Tzipora Strauss, Havatzelet Yarden-Bilavsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Caffeine citrate is the most frequently used medication in preterm neonates for the prevention of apnea of prematurity. There is no accepted consensus regarding the optimal caffeine citrate dosing. In this study, we evaluate clinical responses of premature neonates to standard-dose caffeine citrate treatment. Methods: A prospective observational study conducted at the NICU at Sheba Medical Center (3/2016-2/2017). The study population included preterm neonates born at a gestational age (GA) < 33 weeks and treated with caffeine citrate according to the local NICU protocol. Results: The study cohort included 66 preterm neonates of GA < 33 weeks. Thirty infants were defined as responders and 36 as nonresponders to 7.5 mg/kg caffeine citrate treatment, and they required a further dose increase to 10 mg/kg. Infants in the nonresponders group were born at earlier GA than responders (29 vs. 31 weeks, respectively, P = 0.004). The nonresponders required a significantly longer hospital stay (56 vs. 46 days, P = 0.014), and longer supplemental oxygen support (18 vs 2 days, P = 0.008). Conclusions: Caffeine citrate initiation at higher doses is safe and does not require routine serum levels monitoring. It might be more effective for controlling apnea of prematurity in preterm neonates born ≤29 weeks of gestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2292-2297
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


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