3.1.3 Theophylline

Brand name prescribing is recommended for oral formulations due to variations in bioavailability.

Interactions

There are significant drug interactions with theophylline / aminophylline. Consult the BNF, manufacturer's Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) and specialist textbooks for further information.

Monitoring plasma levels

Therapeutic levels of plasma-theophylline are usually between 10–20 mg/litre (55–110 micromol/litre), although lower concentrations may be effective in order to achieve satisfactory bronchodilation. Adverse effects can occur within the range 10–20 mg/litre and both the frequency and severity increase at concentrations above 20 mg/litre.

  1. Oral: Plasma-theophylline concentration is measured 5 days after starting oral treatment and at least 3 days after any dose adjustment. A blood sample should usually be taken 4–6 hours after an oral dose of a modified-release preparation (sampling times may vary—consult local guidelines).
  2. Parenteral: If aminophylline is given intravenously, a blood sample should be taken 4–6 hours after starting infusion.
Uniphyllin Continus®

(Theophylline)

  • Prolonged release tablets 200mg, 300mg, 400mg (£2.96 = 200mg twice daily)

Indications

Dose

  • Refer to product literature
Slo-phyllin®

(Theophylline)

  • Prolonged release capsules 60mg, 125mg, 250mg (£4.34 = 250mg twice daily)

Indications

Dose

  • Refer to product literature
Phyllocontin Continus®

(Aminophylline)

  • Prolonged release tablets 225mg (£2.40 = one twice daily)
  • Prolonged release Forte tablets 350mg (£4.22 = one twice daily)

Indications

Dose

  • Refer to product literature
Aminophylline
  • Injection 250mg/10ml

Notes

  1. Particular care needs to be exercised on initiation of therapy. Prescribers are strongly advised to read the full SPC and the UCL Injectable Medicines Administration Guide
Theophylline
  • Liquid 60mg/5ml (unlicensed preparation)

Notes

  1. For use within Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

 

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