Aminophylline Side Effects
Not all side effects for aminophylline may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
For the Consumer
Applies to aminophylline: oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release
Other dosage forms:
In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by aminophylline. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking aminophylline:Rare
- Cracks in the skin
- loss of heat from the body
- red, swollen skin
- scaly skin
- skin rash
- Chest pain or discomfort
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- increase in urine volume
- persistent vomiting
- pounding or rapid pulse
If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking aminophylline, get emergency help immediately:Symptoms of overdose
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- blurred vision
- confusion about identity, place, and time
- dark-colored urine
- decrease in frequency of urination
- decreased urine
- difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- dry mouth
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- increased thirst
- irregular heartbeat
- loss of appetite
- mood changes
- muscle cramps or spasms
- muscle pain or stiffness
- nausea or vomiting
- numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
- pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
- painful urination
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- shortness of breath
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
Some of the side effects that can occur with aminophylline may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:Incidence not known
- trouble sleeping
- unable to sleep
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to aminophylline: compounding powder, intravenous solution, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release, rectal suppository
Most of the side effects of aminophylline (theophylline) have been dependent on serum concentrations. Generally, theophylline serum concentrations ranging from 10 to 20 mcg/mL are considered therapeutic, and serum concentrations greater than 20 mcg/mL are associated with greater toxicity.
There are several factors which may predispose a patient to higher serum concentrations and, thus, toxicity. These factors may include increased age, concomitant drugs which reduce the clearance of theophylline, hypothyroidism, congestive heart failure, liver disease, renal failure, and alterations in smoking habits. One series of patients with theophylline intoxication had recent upper respiratory tract infections.
The nature of acute toxicity of theophylline differs from chronic toxicity. Acute overdose is associated with higher theophylline concentrations and younger patients. In acute overdose the severity of toxicity is correlated with peak serum concentrations. Chronic overdosage is seen more commonly in older patients, and severe toxicity may occur with serum concentrations which are much lower than those seen in severe acute toxicity. In these patients, age is a predictor of severe toxicity.
Gastrointestinal side effects have included anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Aminophylline may also cause locally-mediated gastrointestinal upset.
The mechanism of theophylline-induced seizures has not been determined. Seizures are generally focal with secondary generalization. Permanent neurologic deficits have been reported and morbidity may be high, especially in the elderly, patients with severe underlying disease, and patients with prolonged, uncontrolled seizure activity. The onset of seizures is not always preceded by less severe symptoms of aminophylline toxicity. Patients with an abnormal neurologic history, including a history of seizures, cerebral infarct, or head trauma, may be predisposed to seizure activity. If theophylline is used in these types of patients, serum concentrations should be monitored closely and maintained in the low, therapeutic range.
Nervous system side effects have included generalized seizures, most commonly in patients with elevated serum concentrations, although seizures have occurred at therapeutic concentrations. Theophylline may also cause nervousness and tremor at therapeutic dosages, which become worse as serum concentrations increase.
Cardiovascular side effects have included increased heart rate which has progressed to atrial tachycardia or ventricular tachycardia. Patients with a history of arrhythmias may be predisposed to this effect. Hypotension has occurred with rapid intravenous administration.
Theophylline serum concentrations are a significant predictor of arrhythmias. One study reported multifocal atrial tachycardia in 8% and 16% of patients with a serum concentration between 10 and 20 mcg/mL and greater than 20 mcg/mL, respectively. The onset of serious arrhythmias is not always preceded by less severe signs of theophylline toxicity.
Patients are frequently sensitized to ethylenediamine through topical use, as it is used as a preservative in some topical preparations. These patients are generally able to tolerate plain theophylline preparations.
Hypersensitivity side effects have included erythematous rash, pruritus, urticaria, and exfoliative erythroderma. These side effects have been more commonly reported in patients sensitive to ethylenediamine component of aminophylline.
Metabolic side effects have included hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, respiratory alkalosis, hypophosphatemia, and hypomagnesemia. The magnitude of these abnormalities have been correlated with theophylline concentrations.
In one group of patients with theophylline concentrations greater than 20 mcg/mL, hyperglycemia was present in approximately 50%, hypokalemia in 15%, and hypomagnesemia in 20%. Hyponatremia and hypophosphatemia were seen less frequently.
Genitourinary side effects have included urinary retention.
More about aminophylline
- Aminophylline tablets
- Aminophylline (Advanced Reading)
- Aminophylline Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
Related treatment guides
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