Uses of Aminophylline
Aminophylline is used to prevent and treat wheezing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing caused by asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases. It relaxes and opens air passages in the lungs, making it easier to breathe.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Side Effects of Aminophylline
Aminophylline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.
- upset stomach
- stomach pain
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- increased or rapid heart rate
- irregular heartbeat
- skin rash
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking aminophylline:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to aminophylline or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription medications you are taking, especially allopurinol (Zyloprim), azithromycin (Zithromax) carbamazepine (Tegretol), cimetidine (Tagamet), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), clarithromycin (Biaxin), diuretics (‘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 nonprescription medications and vitamins you are taking, especially nonprescription medications containing ephedrine, epinephrine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, or pseudoephedrine. Many nonprescription products contain these drugs (e.g., diet pills and medications for colds and asthma), so check labels carefully. Do not take these medications without talking to your doctor; they 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 breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking aminophylline, call your doctor.
- tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may affect the effectiveness of aminophylline.
Aminophylline comes as a tablet and syrup to take by mouth and a suppository to insert rectally. It usually is taken every 6, 8, or 12 hours. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take aminophylline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it 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 symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases but does not cure them. Continue to take aminophylline even if you feel well. Do not stop taking aminophylline without talking to your doctor.
To insert a rectal suppository, follow these steps:
- Remove the wrapper.
- Dip the tip of the suppository in water.
- Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest. (A left-handed person should lie on the right side and raise the left knee.)
- Using 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. Hold it in place for a few moments.
- Stand up after about 15 minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly and resume your normal activities.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to aminophylline.
Do not change from one brand of aminophylline to another without talking to your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.