What is Theophylline?

Theophylline is also known as 1,3-dimethylxanthine, under a number of brand names, it is a phosphodiesterase inhibiting medication used for the treatment of respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

Theophylline Uses

  • Theophylline is used to treat lung conditions such as asthma and COPD (bronchitis, emphysema) (bronchitis, emphysema). To avoid wheezing and shortness of breath, it must be used daily. This drug belongs to the xanthine family of medicines. It works by making the muscles relax around the airways so that you can breathe more freely and then it opens up. It reduces the response of the lungs to irritants as well. Controlling the symptoms of some issues and problems with breathing may be minimized the time spent at work or school.
  • To be safe, this drug has to be used daily. It doesn't function instantly and should not be used to alleviate unexpected issues with breathing. If there is sudden shortness of breath, use your rapid-relief inhaler as prescribed

How to take Theophylline tablets

  • Take this drug by mouth as instructed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily. As there are different ways for different manufacturers to take this drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist for the best time(s) to take your theophylline brand and whether you can consume the medication with taking food or without food.
  • Do not smash the capsules or the tablets or chew them. In doing so, all of the medication can be released at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Often, unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist advises you to do so, do not break the pills. Swallow the entire or broken tablet without crushing or chewing.
  • The dosage is dependent on your medical condition, treatment response, age, weight, laboratory tests (blood levels of theophylline), and other drugs that you may be taking. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products that you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Your doctor may advise you to start this drug at a low dose and gradually increase your dose in order to reduce your risk of severe side effects.
  • Some of the diets (such as high protein diet or low carbohydrate diet or high carbohydrate or low protein) can change the effects of theophylline. Tell your doctor if you have any big changes in your diet. The dosage may need to be adjusted by your doctor only.
  • To get the advantage from it, take this drug daily at the same time. To help you recall, take it each day at the same time. Keep taking this drug even if you are feeling well or if you feel good in 1 single dose. Do not raise the dosage on your own, take this medicine more often, or avoid taking it without consulting your doctor first.
  • Get medical attention right away if your asthma symptoms intensify or if you are using your quick-relief inhaler more than normal or more frequently than prescribed.

Theophylline Side Effects:

  • There may be nausea/vomiting, abdominal/stomach pain, headache, sleeping issues, diarrhea, irritability, restlessness, nervousness, shaking, or increased urination. Inform your or pharmacist immediately if any of these symptoms persist or get worse.
  • Know that this medication/drug has been prescribed by your doctor and he or she has decided that the value is greater than the risk of side effects. There are no significant side effects for many people who use this drug.
  • If you have some severe side effects, including non-stop nausea/vomiting, rapid/slow/irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, fainting, fatigue, dizziness, inform your doctor right away.
  • If you have some very unpleasant side effects, including seizures, get medical attention right away.
  • It is very unusual or uncommon to experience a very severe allergic reaction to this drug. However, if you have experienced any of the signs of a serious allergic reaction, including rashes, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), extreme dizziness, difficulty breathing, get medical assistance urgently.
  • It is not a full list of side effects that may be likely to occur. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any other effects which are not listed above.


  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist whether you are allergic to xanthine or any other xanthine medications (such as aminophylline, oxtriphylline, caffeine) before using theophylline or whether you have any other allergies. There may be inactive ingredients in this product that may cause allergic reactions or other problems.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history before taking this drug, particularly if you have: stomach/intestinal ulcer, seizures, thyroid disease, heart issues (such as heart failure, irregular heartbeat), liver disease, high blood pressure.
  • Children may be more susceptible to this drug's side effects. It is advised to track side effects and drug blood levels carefully.
  • This drug might be used during pregnancy only when it is obviously needed or urgently needed. Changes in your body during the last 3 months of pregnancy can affect the amount of this drug in your blood. Your doctor should check the amount of medicine in your blood carefully, as well as any side effects so that your dosage can be modified if appropriate.
  • This medicine moves into breast milk and may have adverse effects on a child who is breastfeeding. Before breastfeeding, consult the doctor.


  • Drug interactions might change or affect the working of your drugs or increase the risk of serious side effects. Keep a list and show it with your doctor and pharmacist of all the medication you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products). Without your doctor's permission and advice, do not start dose or stop, or adjust the dosage of any medication.
  • Riociguat is a product that can interfere with this medication.
  • Children may be more susceptible to this drug's side effects. It is advised to track side effects and drug blood levels carefully.
  • The removal of theophylline from your body may be impaired by other drugs, which may change how theophylline functions. Examples include, but are not limited to, cimetidine, disulfiram, fluvoxamine, interferon, mexiletine, propranolol, rifampin, epilepsy medicines (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin), St. John's Wort, ticlopidine.
  • Cigarette/marijuana (cannabis) smoking reduces blood levels of this drug. If you smoke or if you have recently quit smoking, tell your doctor.
  • Caffeine and alcohol might increase the side effects of this medication. You have to avoid drinking large amounts of beverages containing alcohol or caffeine (such as coffee, tea, colas), eating large amounts of chocolate, or taking nonprescription products that contain caffeine amount.
  • Theophylline is very similar to aminophylline and oxtriphylline. Do not take any drug or medications containing oxtriphylline or aminophylline while using theophylline.
  • This medication can interfere/interact with certain tests (such as blood sugar test, cholesterol test, uric acid, dipyridamole-thallium imaging tests), possibly causing false/incorrect test results. Make sure that lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use this drug as soon as you recall it. Skip the forgotten dose and restart your dosing schedule if it is very close to the time of your next dose. Never use an additional dose in order to cover up for the forgotten dose. Try setting a reminder alarm or asking a family member to alert you if you are frequently skipping doses. If you have missed many doses, please contact your physician to suggest adjustments in your dosing schedule or a new schedule to make up for all the missed doses.


Do not take more than the dosage given. Your side effects or symptoms of an overdose will not be changed by taking more medication, they can instead cause poisoning or severe side effects. Bring with you a medication, bottle, or marks to support doctors with the detailed information needed. Even if you know they have the same disorder or it seems like they may have similar conditions do not share your drugs with other people. This can contribute to overdose.


Medicines should be stored at room temperature, away from extreme heat and direct light. Do not freeze medicines. Never flush drugs down the toilet or throw them into the drainage system. The environment may be polluted by drugs if discarded in this way. For more information and details on how to safely discard Ambroxol Hydrochloride Syrup, please contact your pharmacist or doctor.

Other important information:

  • Keep all meetings with your doctor and the laboratory. In order to confirm your reaction to theophylline, your doctor will order some lab tests.
  • Without talking to your doctor, do not move from one brand of theophylline to another.
  • Do not let the medicine be taken by someone else. If you have any questions about refilling your prescription, ask your pharmacist.
  • As well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements, it is essential for you to keep a written list of all the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking. Any time you visit a doctor or if you are an admin, you can carry this list with you.

Theophylline vs Acebrophylline

Theophylline Acebrophylline
Used in treating lung conditions such as asthma and COPD Used in the treatment of Bronchial Asthma, COPD, Bronchitis, Sinusitis
It is 1,3-dimethylxanthine Itraconazole is used for treating fungal infections. It belongs to azole antifungal drugs. It works as stopping the growth of fungi.
Brand name phosphodiesterase inhibiting medication Brand name AB PHYLLINE cap
Available as Generic drug Available as Generic drug

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Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of drug is Theophylline?

Theophylline is used to treat respiratory conditions such as COPD and asthma (bronchitis, emphysema). To avoid wheezing and shortness of breath, it must be used daily. This drug belongs to the xanthine family of medicines.

Is Theophylline a steroid?

It isn't an anabolic steroid. Theophylline relaxes the smooth muscles in your airways so that they open up and can more easily allow air to flow through them.

What foods contain Theophylline?

In foods like black tea, and to a lesser degree in green coffee, cocoa cotyledon, and dried mate, theophylline is included.

How long does it take for Theophylline to start working?

Within 1 to 2 days, this drug should take effect and you should see changes in the clinical signs of your pet.

Is Theophylline a stimulant?

Caffeine, a strong stimulant that you can also get from coffee and soft drinks, is the most popular. Also, tea contains two caffeine-related substances which are theobromine and theophylline. Finally, it contains L-theanine, a very unusual amino acid that has some rather fascinating effects on the brain.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.

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