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Questions & Answers
Side Effects & Adverse Reactions
Theophylline should be used with extreme caution in patients with the following clinical conditions due to the increased risk of exacerbation of the concurrent condition:
- Active peptic ulcer disease
- Seizure disorders
- Cardiac arrhythmias (not including bradyarrhythmias)
There are several readily identifiable causes of reduced theophylline clearance. If the total daily dose is not appropriately reduced in the presence of these risk factors, severe and potentially fatal theophylline toxicity can occur. Careful consideration must be given to the benefits and risks of theophylline use and the need for more intensive monitoring of serum theophylline concentrations in patients with the following risk factors:
- Neonates (term and premature)
- Children <1 year
- Elderly (>60 years)
- Acute pulmonary edema
- Congestive heart failure
- Fever; ≥102° F for 24 hours or more; or lesser temperature elevations for longer periods
- Liver disease; cirrhosis, acute hepatitis
- Reduced renal function in infants <3 months of age
- Sepsis with multi-organ failure
Cessation of Smoking
Adding a drug that inhibits theophylline metabolism (e.g., cimetidine, erythromycin, tacrine) or stopping a concurrently administered drug that enhances theophylline metabolism (e.g., carbamazepine, rifampin) (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions, Table II).
Whenever a patient receiving theophylline develops nausea or vomiting, particularly repetitive vomiting, or other signs or symptoms consistent with theophylline toxicity (even if another cause may be suspected), additional doses of theophylline should be withheld and a serum theophylline concentration measured immediately. Patients should be instructed not to continue any dosage that causes adverse effects and to withhold subsequent doses until the symptoms have resolved, at which time the healthcare professional may instruct the patient to resume the drug at a lower dosage (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Dosing Guidelines, Table VI).
Increases in the dose of theophylline should not be made in response to an acute exacerbation of symptoms of chronic lung disease since theophylline provides little added benefit to inhaled beta2-selective agonists and systemically administered corticosteroids in this circumstance and increases the risk of adverse effects. A peak steady-state serum theophylline concentration should be measured before increasing the dose in response to persistent chronic symptoms to ascertain whether an increase in dose is safe. Before increasing the theophylline dose on the basis of a low serum concentration, the healthcare professional should consider whether the blood sample was obtained at an appropriate time in relationship to the dose and whether the patient has adhered to the prescribed regimen (see PRECAUTIONS, Laboratory Tests).
As the rate of theophylline clearance may be dose-dependent (i.e., steady-state serum concentrations may increase disproportionately to the increase in dose), an increase in dose based upon a sub-therapeutic serum concentration measurement should be conservative. In general, limiting dose increases to about 25% of the previous total daily dose will reduce the risk of unintended excessive increases in serum theophylline concentration (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Table VI).
There is currently no legal information available for this drug.
FDA Safety Alerts
There are currently no FDA safety alerts available for this drug.
There is currently no manufacturer warning information available for this drug.
FDA Labeling Changes
There are currently no FDA labeling changes available for this drug.
Theophylline is indicated for the treatment of the symptoms and reversible airflow obstruction associated with chronic asthma and other chronic lung diseases, e.g., emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
There is currently no drug history available for this drug.
Theophylline is structurally classified as a methylxanthine. It occurs as a white, odorless, crystalline powder with a bitter taste. Anhydrous theophylline has the chemical name 1H-Purine-2,6-dione, 3,7-dihydro-1,3-dimethyl-, and is represented by the following structural formula:
The molecular formula of anhydrous theophylline is C7H8N4O2 with a molecular weight of 180.17.
Theo-24® is available as capsules intended for oral administration, containing 100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg, or 400 mg of anhydrous theophylline per capsule, in an extended-release formulation which allows a 24-hour dosing interval for appropriate patients.
Inactive ingredients are edible ink (which contains synthetic black iron oxide, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Blue No. 2, FD&C Yellow No. 6, D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Red No. 40), ethylcellulose, gelatin, pharmaceutical glaze, colloidal silicon dioxide, starch, sucrose, talc, titanium dioxide, and coloring agents: 100 mg-includes FD&C Yellow No. 6; 200 mg-FD&C Red No. 3 and D&C Yellow No. 10; 300 mg-FD&C Blue No. 1 and FD&C Red No. 40; 400 mg-FD&C Red No. 40 and D&C Red No. 28.
Theo-24® Extended-release capsules meet Drug Release Test 6 as published in the current USP monograph for Theophylline Extended-release Capsules.