Theophylline belongs to the class of drugs known as bronchodilators. This medicament works to slacken the lungs as well as chest muscles, lessening the vulnerability of the lungs to allergens as well as other factors responsible for developing bronchospasm. Theophylline is employed for treating symptoms associated with asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.
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Prior to using theophylline, you should let your pharmacist and physicians know whether you have allergic reactions to this drug or any different medications.
Also tell them about all the medications - prescription plus nonprescription drugs, and vitamins you may be taking from before, especially epinephrine, ephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, phenylephrine and/ or pseudoephedrine. Several products that are available over-the-counter enclose these drugs, for instance, medicines for treating asthma and cold, diet pills and others. Therefore, always scrutinize the labels of all medications carefully before you use them. It is not advisable to use any of the above mentioned medication without consulting your physician, because these medications have the aptitude to aggravate the adverse effects of using theophylline.
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Inform your physician about your entire health condition. Tell him/ her if you had suffered or are suffering from ulcers, seizures, heart ailments, hypertension (high blood pressure), any disease related to the liver, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism or have an alcohol abuse history.
You should also let your physician know if you use tobacco in any form. You should know that smoking cigarettes is likely to diminish the efficacy of theophylline.
Women planning to use theophylline should tell their physician if they are expecting or planning to have a child. In case any woman conceives while using theophylline, she should call her physician immediately for help and guidance. New mothers should let their physician know if they are breast feeding.
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The bronchodilator theophylline is employed to lessen the incidence as well as the harshness of breathing troubles in people enduring bronchitis, emphysema, asthma and additional problems related to the lungs.
Theophylline is available in tablet, extended release (long acting) tablet and capsule as well as liquid forms and should always be taken with a full glass (8 oz) of water. You may take this medication with or with no food, but always in the same manner. Never break, chew, crush or open any extended-release capsule or tablet unless your physician instructs otherwise. Gulp down the tablet or capsule as a whole. You should know that extended-release capsules and tablets are meant to slowly release the drug inside the body. If you chew, crush or break open these medications, they will result in the release of the entire drug at once.
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However, your physician may possibly instruct you to break a normal (not extended release) theophylline tablet before you swallow it. A few tablets have particular markings on them to help you to break them. Always follow your physician's instructions while taking this medication.
Provided you are taking the liquid form of theophylline, you need to measure the medication using a particular cup or spoon meant for measuring the dose of liquid medications. Never use a normal spoon to measure your dose, as it will not help you to take the appropriate dosage. In case you do not have a measuring cup or spoon to measure the dosage, request your pharmacist to provide you with one.
You should always take theophylline according to your prescription. It is never advisable to take this drug in excessive or lesser amounts or for a longer period than what your physician has prescribed. In addition, you also need to abide by the instructions on the product's prescription label. From time to time, your physician is likely to alter your dose of this medication with a view to ensure that you obtain the maximum benefits of using it.
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It is important to note that if you are changing the brand, potency or the kind of theophylline you have been using, possibly your dosage of the medication too will change. Therefore, every time you get a refill of the medication ensure that you have been given the right brand as well as type of theophylline that your physician has prescribed for you. In case you have queries regarding the medicament you get from the pharmacy, seek the help of your pharmacist.
When you are being treated with theophylline always consult your physician before you start or quit smoking, because cigarette smoking brings in changes in the manner your body makes use of theophylline. Your dose of the medication may need to be changed in case you begin to smoke or give up smoking while taking theophylline.
Get emergency medical assistance in case you suspect that you might have taken an overdose of theophylline. Taking this medication in excessive dosage may result in a number of symptoms, including vomiting, giddiness, restiveness, tremors, sleeplessness (insomnia), convulsions (seizures) and irregular heart rhythms. Remember, seizures set off by an overdose of theophylline may result in enduring damage to the brain and even untimely death.
The spasm of the bronchial passages' smooth muscles in the lungs (a condition called bronchospasm) results in an attack of asthma. Theophylline works by loosening the muscles of the chest and lungs, thereby broadening the narrowed air passages and bringing back regular breathing.
It is not advisable to use theophylline without need or for an extended period of time. Discontinue theophylline slowly over a period of time when your asthma problems are over.
You should always keep theophylline at the normal temperature of your living room and in a place further than dampness and heat. Store this medication in a sealed container. All medicaments, including theophylline, should be kept away from the range of children.