- What is theophylline, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for theophylline?
- Is theophylline available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for theophylline?
- What are the uses for theophylline?
- What are the side effects of theophylline?
- What is the dosage for theophylline?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with theophylline?
- Is theophylline safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about theophylline?
What is theophylline, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What brand names are available for theophylline?
Is theophylline available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for theophylline?
What are the uses for theophylline?
Theophylline is used for the relief and prevention of airway narrowing (bronchospasm) in patients with asthma. Theophylline also can be used in treating patients with emphysema and chronic bronchitis when their symptoms are related to reversible airway narrowing. Theophylline can be administered together with other bronchodilators, such as albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil) for added bronchodilator effect.
What are the side effects of theophylline?
Common side effects are:
Other important and more serious side effects include seizures and heart arrhythmias. Theophylline should be used cautiously in patients with high blood pressure, peptic ulcer disease, seizure disorders, and serious heart disease, especially heart rhythm problems.
Quick GuideAsthma Symptoms, Causes, and Medications
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