Classified foremost as a bronchodilator, Theophylline is used to treat asthma and other diseases that involve the narrowing of the bronchial passageways. It works by helping relax the smooth muscles found in the walls of your lungs airways, and it can also be useful with patients suffering from chronic bronchitis and emphysema, especially if their symptoms are somewhat connected with reversible airway constriction. It improves diaphragm movement and right heart function as well.
Children aged one to nine years old need a dose of 22 mg/kg per day and adults aged sixty years old and below need a dose of 900 mg/kg per day in order to get a steady-state peak serum theophylline concentration ranging from less than 10 mcg/ml to as high as 30 mcg/ml. However, correct dosage varies depending on the individual, so it's important to always consult your doctor in regards to proper theophylline dosage.
This medication can be taken after eating or without food, but it must not be chewed or crushed. The liver mainly metabolizes it, so dosages should be adjusted to people suffering with a dysfunctional liver. On the flipside, it is metabolized more quickly by tobacco and marijuana smokers, so higher dosages may be required for those individuals. As such, it is standard procedure to periodically monitor the level of theophylline in a patient's blood to guarantee that he or she receives optimal and safe levels of the drug.
As always, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or any other healthcare specialist if you are allergic to theophylline or any other drugs. Just as well, tell your doctor what prescription medications you are taking, particularly tetracycline, prednisone, phenytoin, clarithromycin, allopurinol, diuretics, cimetidine, erythromycin, oral contraceptives, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, rifampin, propranolol, carbamazepine, lithium, and other medications for heart disease or infections.
In addition, you must inform your pharmacist or doctor about the nonprescription drugs and vitamins you take as well, especially if it includes pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, ephedrine, phenylephrine, or epinephrine.
Many commercial products contain the abovementioned drugs—whether they're for colds, asthma, or for dieting purposes—so check their labels carefully. More to the point, certain products can worsen the side effects of theophylline. On that note, if you're a long time smoker, tell your doctor as soon as possible, because smoking has been known to decrease theophylline's effectiveness.
If you have or ever had an overactive or underactive thyroid gland, seizures, high blood pressure, ulcers, liver disease, or a history of alcohol abuse, notify your physician immediately before taking this medication. Do the same if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding. If you inadvertently became pregnant while under theophylline treatment, consult your doctor as quickly as you can.
The side effects of theophylline include restlessness, headache, diarrhea, upset stomach, stomach pain, and irritability. If these side effects persist or are severe, consult your doctor. Furthermore, if your heart rate suddenly increases, gain an irregular heartbeat, experience palpitations, start vomiting, have seizures, or get a skin rash, you will probably need immediate medical attention.
Brand name(s): Accurbron, Acet-Theocin, Aerobin, Aerolate, Aerolate SR, Afonilm, Afonilum, Aminophylline, Aquaphyllin, Armophylline, Asbron, Asmalix, Asmax, Austyn, Bilordyl, Bronchoretard, Bronkodyl, Bronkodyl SR, Cetraphylline, Choledyl SA, Chronophyllin, Constant T, Diffumal, Dimethylxanthine, Diphyllin, Doraphyllin, Duraphyl, Duraphyllin, Dyspne-Inhal, Egifilin, Elan, Elixex, Elixicon, Elixomin, Elixophyllin, Elixophylline, Etheophyl, Euphyllin, Euphylline, Euphylong, Labid, Lanophyllin, Lasma, Liquophylline, Liquorice, Maphylline, Medaphyllin, Nuelin, Optiphyllin, Parkophyllin, Physpan, Pro-Vent, Pseudotheophylline, Pulmidur, Pulmo-Timelets, Quibron, Quibron T, Respbid, Respicur, Respid, Slo-Bid, Slo-Phyllin, Solosin, Sustaire, Synophylate, T-Phyl, Talotren, Tefamin, Telb-DS, Teofilina, Teofyllamin, Teolair, Teonova, Teosona, Tesona, Theacitin, Theo, Theo-24, Theobid, Theochron, Theocin, Theoclear, Theoclear LA, Theocontin, Theodel, Theodrip, Theofol, Theograd, Theolair, Theolair-SR, Theolix, Theolixir, Theon, Theopek, Theophyl, Theophyl-SR, Theophyline, Theophyllin, Theoplus, Theospan, Theostat, Theotard, Theovent, Uni-Dur, Unifyl, Unilong, Uniphyl, Uniphyllin, Xanthium, Xantivent
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