Pronunciation: (am in off i lin)
Trade Name(s): Aminophylline, Phyllocontin, Somophyllin, Truphylline
Why it is prescribed: Aminophylline, a bronchodilator, relaxes and opens the air passages to the lungs, making it easier to breathe. It relieves shortness of breath, wheezing and difficulty breathing caused by asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. It also suppresses asthma caused by exercise.
When it is to be taken: 1. Aminophylline usually is taken every 6, 8, or 12 hours. Follow the instructions on your prescription carefully.
2. Aminophylline must be taken regularly (at evenly spaced intervals around the clock) to be effective. You may need to take it for a long time. Do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor. Stopping the drug can make your condition worse.
How it should be taken:
1. Aminophylline comes in regular, enteric-coated and extended-release (long-acting) tablets; oral liquid; rectal suppositories and enemas.
2. Your prescription label tells you the exact amount to be taken at each dose.
3. Take the tablets and oral liquid with a full glass of water on an empty stomach, 30 to 60 minutes before or two hours after meals.
4. Do not chew or crush enteric coated or extended-release tablets, swallow them whole.
5. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon from your pharmacist to be sure of an accurate dose of the liquid.
6. The enema comes with directions. Follow them carefully.
7. To insert a rectal suppository, follow these steps:
a) Remove the wrapper.
b) Dip the tip of the suppository in water.
c) 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.
d) Using your finger, insert the suppository into the rectum, about ½ to 1 inch in infants and children and 1 inch in adults. Hold it in place for few seconds. You may stand up after for about 15 minutes.
e) Wash your hands thoroughly and resume your normal activities.
Special Instruction: 1. Take the exact amount of the drug as how the doctor has prescribed. It can be harmful if you take more of it or take it more often than as directed.
2. Your doctor will want to evaluate your response to aminophylline, especially during the first few weeks. If your condition does not improve or if it worsens, contact your doctor.
3. Drinking coffee, tea, colas and smoking cigarettes can affect the action of aminophylline.
4. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
Side Effects: 1. Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, abdominal cramps and loss of appetite are commonly seen. Take the medication with or immediately after meals or with an antacid or a full glass of liquid. If these problems persist, contact your doctor.
2. Headache, irritability, restlessness, nervousness, dizziness, frequent urination, twitching fingers and hands are seen rarely. If these effects are severe or persist, contact your doctor.
3. Palpitations, fast heartbeat, fast breathing, and insomnia are infrequent.
4. The overdose side effects are palpitations, irregular heartbeat, slight fever, fast breathing, sweating, extreme thirst, ringing ears, muscle twitching, frequent vomiting and seizures. Contact your doctor immediately.
Other Precautions: 1. Before taking aminophylline, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking especially allopurinol, cimetidine, erythromycin, lithium, propranolol.
2. Taking over-the-counter theophylline with prescription aminophylline can cause nervousness, insomnia, nausea and vomiting. To avoid taking these drugs together without realizing it, carefully check the labels of nonprescription medications you are taking to be sure that they do not contain theophylline.
3. Do not take nonprescription cold, allergy or asthma medications containing ephedrine, epinephrine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine or pseudoephedrine without consulting your doctor; these drugs can increase the side effects of aminophylline.
4. Before you take aminophylline, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding or if you have glaucoma, ulcers, an overative thyroid gland, diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney, liver, heart disease.
5. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.
Storage Conditions: 1. Keep this medication in a tightly closed container.
2. Keep it out of the reach of children.
3. Store suppositories in the refrigerator.
4. store other forms of aminophylline at room temperature and away from excess moisture.