What is theophylline?
Theophylline is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the lungs and chest, and makes the lungs less sensitive to allergens and other causes of bronchospasm.
Theophylline is used to treat the symptoms of asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.
Theophylline may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about theophylline?
If there are any changes in the brand, strength, or type of theophylline you use, your dosage needs may change. Always check your medicine when it is refilled to make sure you have received the correct brand and type as prescribed by your doctor. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.
Do not start or stop smoking without first talking to your doctor. Smoking changes the way your body uses theophylline, and you may need to use a different dose.
Avoid drinks or foods that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate. Caffeine may increase some of the side effects of theophylline.
There are many other medicines that can interact with theophylline. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking theophylline?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to theophylline.
Before taking theophylline, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
a stomach ulcer;
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
a heart rhythm problem;
congestive heart failure;
fluid in your lungs;
a high fever;
liver disease (such as cirrhosis or hepatitis);
kidney disease; or
if you have recently quit smoking cigarettes or marijuana.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take theophylline.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Theophylline can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from theophylline.