Pediatric Apnea Medication

Updated: Feb 13, 2018
  • Author: Joshua A Rocker, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

Caffeine citrate is currently the medication used in NICUs to treat apnea of prematurity (AOP). The specific mechanism is not known, but caffeine citrate has been shown to act as a respiratory stimulant and allow infants to overcome the developmental immaturity that causes apnea or periodic breathing. [27]

Unfortunately, patients with AOP have demonstrated various responses. A recent study has identified genetic markers (adenosine receptor gene polymorphisms) that may be able to predict an individual’s response to caffeine. [28]