What is theophylline?

Theophylline is a medication used to treat asthma and other breathing disorders. It is a bronchodilator that works by relaxing the muscles in the airways to make breathing easier. Theophylline is available as an oral tablet, an oral liquid, and an injectable solution.

Theophylline

Health Benefits

Theophylline has been shown to be effective in treating asthma and other breathing disorders. In one study, theophylline was found to improve lung function and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. Theophylline may also be effective in treating other conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, and emphysema.

Side Effects and Precautions

The most common side effects of theophylline include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and trouble sleeping. Theophylline can also cause more serious side effects such as irregular heartbeat and seizure. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking the medication and call your doctor immediately.

Dosage and Administration

The recommended dose of theophylline depends on your age, weight, and medical condition. The usual starting dose is 100-200 mg per day, taken in divided doses. The dose may be increased or decreased based on your response to the medication.

Theophylline should be taken with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. If you are taking an oral liquid, shake the bottle well before each dose.

Interactions

Theophylline can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Mechanism of Action

Theophylline works by relaxing the muscles in the airways to make breathing easier. It is a bronchodilator that acts on the smooth muscle in the lungs. Theophylline also has anti-inflammatory effects and can help to reduce mucus production.

Pharmacokinetics

Theophylline is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and reaches peak concentrations in 1-2 hours. The half-life of theophylline is 3-6 hours. The elimination of theophylline is primarily through the kidneys.

Alternatives to Theophylline

There are many alternatives to theophylline for the treatment of asthma and other breathing disorders. Some of these alternatives include beta-agonists, anticholinergics, and corticosteroids. Your doctor can help you choose the best medication for your condition.

Are anticholinergics more effective than theophylline?

One study found that anticholinergics are more effective than theophylline in the treatment of asthma. Anticholinergics work by relaxing the smooth muscle in the airways, making it easier to breathe. Theophylline may also be effective in treating other conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, and emphysema.

Pregnancy and Theophylline

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking theophylline.