theophylline, Respbid, Slo-Bid, Theo-24, (Theolair, Uniphyl Theo-Dur, and Slo-Phyllin-discontinued)

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GENERIC NAME: theophylline

BRAND NAMES: Respbid, Slo-Bid, Theo-24, (Theolair, Uniphyl Theo-Dur, and Slo-Phyllin are discontinued)

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Theophylline belongs to a class of medications called bronchodilators, used in treating asthma and other airway diseases. Asthma is a breathing problem caused by narrowing of the airways, the breathing passages that allow air to move in and out of the lungs. Airways can be narrowed due to accumulation of mucus, spasm of the muscles that surround these airways, or swelling of the lining of the airways. Airway narrowing leads to symptoms of shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, and congestion. The narrowed airways can open either spontaneously or with medications. Medications that open airways are called bronchodilators. Theophylline opens airways by relaxing the smooth muscles in the walls of the airways. Theophylline  also can be helpful in patients with emphysema and chronic bronchitis when their symptoms are partially related to reversible airway narrowing. Theophylline also strengthens right heart function and diaphragm movement. Theophylline was approved by the FDA in April 1979.




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