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Theophylline (Intravenous route)

Pronunciation:

thee-OF-i-lin

Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Bronchodilator

Chemical—

Methylxanthine

Uses of This Medicine:

Theophylline injection is used together with other medicines to treat the acute symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases in a hospital setting.

Theophylline belongs to a group of medicines known as bronchodilators. Bronchodilators are medicines that relax the muscles in the bronchial tubes (air passages) of the lungs. They relieve cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and troubled breathing by increasing the flow of air through the bronchial tubes.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of theophylline injection in children. However, children younger than 1 year of age are more likely to have serious side effects, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving theophylline injection.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of theophylline injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients may be more sensitive to the effects of theophylline injection than younger adults, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving theophylline injection.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding—

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amifampridine
  • Riociguat

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acrivastine
  • Adenosine
  • Bupropion
  • Ceritinib
  • Cimetidine
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Deferasirox
  • Desogestrel
  • Dienogest
  • Dihydroartemisinin
  • Drospirenone
  • Enoxacin
  • Erythromycin
  • Estradiol Cypionate
  • Estradiol Valerate
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Ethynodiol Diacetate
  • Etintidine
  • Etonogestrel
  • Fluconazole
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Halothane
  • Idelalisib
  • Idrocilamide
  • Imipenem
  • Levofloxacin
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
  • Mestranol
  • Mexiletine
  • Norelgestromin
  • Norethindrone
  • Norgestimate
  • Norgestrel
  • Pefloxacin
  • Peginterferon Alfa-2a
  • Phenytoin
  • Pixantrone
  • Regadenoson
  • Rofecoxib
  • Siltuximab
  • Thiabendazole
  • Troleandomycin
  • Vemurafenib
  • Zileuton

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Adinazolam
  • Alprazolam
  • Aminoglutethimide
  • Amiodarone
  • Azithromycin
  • Bromazepam
  • Brotizolam
  • Cannabis
  • Carbamazepine
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Clobazam
  • Clonazepam
  • Clorazepate
  • Diazepam
  • Disulfiram
  • Estazolam
  • Febuxostat
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Flurazepam
  • Halazepam
  • Interferon Alfa-2a
  • Ipriflavone
  • Isoproterenol
  • Ketazolam
  • Lorazepam
  • Lormetazepam
  • Medazepam
  • Methotrexate
  • Midazolam
  • Nilutamide
  • Nitrazepam
  • Oxazepam
  • Pancuronium
  • Pentoxifylline
  • Phenobarbital
  • Piperine
  • Prazepam
  • Propafenone
  • Quazepam
  • Rifampin
  • Rifapentine
  • Riluzole
  • Ritonavir
  • Secobarbital
  • St John's Wort
  • Tacrine
  • Tacrolimus
  • Telithromycin
  • Temazepam
  • Ticlopidine
  • Triazolam
  • Viloxazine
  • Zafirlukast

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Tobacco

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Caffeine

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Cor pulmonale (heart condition) or
  • Fever of 102 degrees F or higher for 24 hours or more or
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or
  • Infection, severe (e.g., sepsis) or
  • Kidney disease in infants younger than 3 months of age or
  • Liver disease (e.g., cirrhosis, hepatitis) or
  • Pulmonary edema (lung condition) or
  • Shock (serious condition with very little blood flow in the body)—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., arrhythmia) or
  • Seizures, or history of or
  • Stomach ulcer—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child while you receive this medicine. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

A change in your usual behavior or physical well-being may affect the way this medicine works in your body. Tell your doctor if you or your child:

  • Have had a fever of 102 degrees F or higher for at least 24 hours or more.
  • Have started or stopped smoking tobacco or marijuana in the last few weeks.
  • Have started or stopped taking another medicine in the last few weeks.
  • Have changed your diet in the last few weeks.

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have the following symptoms after using this medicine: nausea or vomiting that continues, headaches, trouble with sleeping, seizures, or irregular heartbeats.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you or your child are using this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

This medicine may add to the central nervous system (CNS) stimulant effects of caffeine-containing foods or beverages, such as chocolate, cocoa, tea, coffee, and cola drinks. Avoid eating or drinking large amounts of these foods or beverages while using this medicine. If you have questions about this, check with your doctor.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known
Blurred vision
chest pain or discomfort
cough
dizziness
fainting
fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
headache
increase in urine volume
infection at the injection site
lightheadedness
pain or redness at the site of injection
pale skin at the site of injection
persistent vomiting
pounding or rapid pulse
rapid breathing
seizures
shakiness
shortness of breath
swelling of the lower legs or arms
tenderness, pain, swelling, warmth, skin discoloration, and prominent superficial veins over the affected area
weight gain

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose
Abdominal or stomach pain
confusion
confusion about identity, place, and time
dark-colored urine
decrease in frequency of urination
decreased urine
diarrhea
difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
dry mouth
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
fever
increased thirst
irregular heartbeat
loss of appetite
mood changes
muscle cramps or spasms
muscle pain or stiffness
nausea or vomiting
nervousness
numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
painful urination
shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
shortness of breath
sweating
unusual tiredness or weakness
vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known
Headache
irritability
restlessness
sleeplessness
trouble sleeping
unable to sleep

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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