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Theophylline

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Methylxanthines

Theophylline - What is it for

​Theophylline is used to control symptoms caused by lung problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) or other lung problems. These medical conditions can cause you to experience wheezing (a high-pitched whistling sound made while breathing), shortness of breath or chest tightness. Theophylline helps to open up your air passages in your lungs and allows you to breathe easier.

Theophylline - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Theophylline cause?

  • Nausea and stomach upset
    • This can be reduced by taking theophylline after food
  • Headache
  • Feeling tired
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Shakiness or feeling anxious

These symptoms may happen but should get better over time. Check with your doctor if any of these symptoms are serious or do not go away.

In very rare cases, some patients might experience the following:

  • Vomiting that does not stop
  • Increased, very fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures or fits

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Theophylline, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • You are a smoker and want to stop smoking.
  • You have the following medical conditions:
    • Seizures or fits
    • Stomach ulcers
    • Heart problems with fast or irregular heartbeart
    • Thyroid problems
    • Liver problems

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Theophylline?

​Some medications may interact with theophylline and affect the levels of theophylline in your body. Check with your healthcare professional to see if any of your medications interact with theophylline.

You should cut down on your intake of caffeine as it has similar effects to theophylline. Caffeine is commonly found in tea, coffee, chocolates and cola.

Theophylline - Dosage and How to Use

How should Theophylline be used?

  • ​Take exactly as how your healthcare professional has told you.
  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.
  • You may take this medication with or without food.
  • Some theophylline tablets are made into sustained release forms. Sustained release forms of theophylline provide a slow and continuous supply of medicine into your body. If you are taking sustained release forms of theophylline, you should swallow the whole tablet or break it into half. Do not crush or chew sustained release forms of theophylline.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Theophylline - Handling

How should I handle Theophylline safely?

Theophylline - Storage

How should I store Theophylline?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Theophylline safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Theophylline - Additional Information

  • Updated on
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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