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

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Theophylline toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, insomnia, seizures, agitation and life- threatening heart rhythm abnormalities. St. John's Wort, rifampin, and carbamazepine decrease levels of theophylline and potentially its effect by increasing its elimination. Theophylline may decrease levels and the effect of carbamazepine by increasing its elimination. Theophylline is metabolized mainly by the liver and dosages should be reduced in patients with liver dysfunction. On the other hand, theophylline is generally metabolized more rapidly in smokers (both tobacco and marijuana) and higher dosages may be required.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: Theophylline is excreted in breast milk and may cause mild side effects such as irritability in the infant.

SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, irritability, flushing and palpitations. 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.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 2/29/2012



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index