Aminophylline : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Aminophylline is used to prevent and treat wheezing, shortness of breath, and shortness of breath caused by asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases. Relaxes and opens the air passages in the lungs, making breathing easier.

This medicine is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Aminophylline comes as a tablet and syrup to take by mouth and a suppository to insert rectally. It is usually taken every 6, 8, or 12 hours. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take aminophylline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Take the tablets or oral liquid with a full glass of water on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Do not chew or crush the long-acting tablets; swallow them whole.

Aminophylline controls the symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases, but it does not cure them. Keep taking aminophylline even if you feel fine. Do not stop taking aminophylline without consulting your doctor.

To insert a rectal suppository, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the wrapping.
  2. Dip the tip of the suppository in water.
  3. Lie on your left side and lift your right knee toward your chest. (A left-handed person should lie on the right side and lift the left knee.)
  4. With your finger, insert the suppository into the rectum, about 1/2 to 1 inch (1.25 to 2.5 centimeters) in infants and children and 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in adults. Keep it in place for a few moments.
  5. Stand up after about 15 minutes. Wash your hands well and resume your normal activities.

Other uses for this medicine

Aminophylline is sometimes used to treat breathing problems in premature babies. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your baby’s condition.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking aminophylline,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to aminophylline or any other medications.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription medications you are taking, especially allopurinol (Zyloprim), azithromycin (Zithromax) carbamazepine (Tegretol), cimetidine (Tagamet), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), clarithromycin (Biaxin), water pills (‘) , erythromycin, lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), oral contraceptives, phenytoin (Dilantin), prednisone (Deltasone), propranolol (Inderal), rifampin (Rifadin), tetracycline (Sumycin), and other medications for infections or heart disease.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what OTC medications and vitamins you are taking, especially OTC medications that contain ephedrine, epinephrine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, or pseudoephedrine. Many over-the-counter products contain these medications (eg, diet pills and cold and asthma medications), so check the labels carefully. Do not take these medications without consulting your doctor; can increase the side effects of aminophylline.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures, heart disease, an overactive or underactive thyroid gland, high blood pressure or liver disease, or if you have a history of alcohol abuse.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking aminophylline, call your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Smoking can affect how well aminophylline works.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Drinking or eating foods that are high in caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate, can increase the side effects caused by aminophylline. Avoid large amounts of these substances while you are taking aminophylline.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot. If you are short of breath, call your doctor.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Aminophylline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.

  • upset stomach
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • restlessness
  • insomnia
  • irritability

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • vomiting
  • increased or rapid heart rate
  • irregular heartbeat
  • seizures
  • skin rash

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your response to aminophylline.

Do not switch from one brand of aminophylline to another without consulting your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names

  • Aminophyllin® Tablets
  • Phyllocontin® Tablets
  • Somophyllin® Oral Solution
  • Truphylline® Suppositories

Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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