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Generic name: oxtriphylline [ ox-TRYE-fi-lin ]
Brand names: Choledyl, Choledyl SA
Drug class: Methylxanthines

What is oxtriphylline?

Oxtriphylline is a bronchodilator. Oxtriphylline works in several ways: it relaxes muscles in your lungs and chest to allow more air in, decreases the sensitivity of your lungs to allergens and other substances that cause inflammation, and increases the contractions of your diaphragm to draw more air into the lungs.

Oxtriphylline is used to treat the symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

Oxtriphylline may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about oxtriphylline?

Do not crush or chew any extended-release formulation of oxtriphylline. Swallow the medication whole. It is specially formulated to release slowly in your body. If you do not know whether your medication is an extended-release formulation, ask your pharmacist.

Call your doctor right away if you experience nausea, vomiting, insomnia, restlessness, seizures, an increased heart rate, or a headache. These could be signs of too much oxtriphylline in your blood.

Do not start or stop smoking without your doctor's knowledge. Smoking may affect your dosage.

Do not take more of this medicine than is prescribed without consulting your doctor. Seek medical attention if you are having increasing difficulty breathing.

Who should not take oxtriphylline?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • a stomach ulcer;

  • seizures;

  • high blood pressure, a heart condition, or any type of heart disease;

  • fluid in your lungs;

  • a thyroid condition;

  • liver disease; or

  • kidney disease.

You may not be able to take oxtriphylline, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Oxtriphylline is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether oxtriphylline will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Oxtriphylline passes into breast milk and could affect a nursing baby. Do not take oxtriphylline without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from oxtriphylline. You may require a lower dose of this medication.

How should I take oxtriphylline?

Take oxtriphylline exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

You can take oxtriphylline with food to lessen stomach upset.

Take your doses at the same time every day to keep a constant level of oxtriphylline in your blood.

Do not crush or chew any extended-release formulation of oxtriphylline. Swallow the medication whole. It is specially formulated to release slowly in your body. If you do not know whether your medication is an extended-release formulation, ask your pharmacist.

Shake the liquid forms of this medication well before use. To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the liquid with a dose-measuring cup or spoon, not a regular tablespoon. If a spoon or cup is not provided with the medication and you do not have one, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Do not switch to another brand or a generic form of oxtriphylline without the approval of your doctor.

Store oxtriphylline at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a oxtriphylline overdose include nausea, vomiting, headache, insomnia, tremor (shaking hands or twitching,), restlessness, seizures, and irregular heartbeats.

What should I avoid while taking oxtriphylline?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Oxtriphylline may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Do not start or stop smoking without the approval of your doctor. Smoking changes the way your body uses oxtriphylline, and you may need a dose adjustment.

Avoid changing your dose or changing the time of your daily doses.

Do not change the brand, generic form, or formulation (tablet, capsule, liquid) of oxtriphylline that you are taking without the approval of your doctor. Different brands or formulations may require different dosages.

Avoid eating excessive amounts of grilled or char-broiled foods. Doing so may also change the dose of oxtriphylline that you need.

Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and cola. Oxtriphylline is related chemically to caffeine, and you may experience some side effects if you consume too much caffeine.

Oxtriphylline side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking oxtriphylline and seek emergency medical attention:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • seizures;

  • increased or irregular heartbeats; or

  • severe nausea or vomiting.

Other, less serious side effects may occur although they are not common at appropriate doses. Continue to take oxtriphylline and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • slight nausea, decreased appetite, or weight loss;

  • restlessness, tremor, or insomnia; or

  • headache, lightheadedness, or dizziness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

Oxtriphylline dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Asthma -- Maintenance:

4.7 mg/kg orally every 8 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Asthma -- Maintenance:

Child 1-9 years: 6.2 mg/kg orally every 6 hours.

Child 9-16 years: 4.7 mg/kg orally every 6 hours.

What other drugs will affect oxtriphylline?

Oxtriphylline interacts with many other drugs. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all other medications that you are taking, including herbal remedies, vitamins, and other nonprescription items.

The following drugs may increase the levels of oxtriphylline in your blood, leading to dangerous side effects:

  • alcohol;

  • cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB);

  • fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as enoxacin (Penetrex), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and ofloxacin (Floxin);

  • clarithromycin (Biaxin) and erythromycin (Ery-Tab, E.E.S., E-Mycin, others);

  • disulfiram (Antabuse);

  • estrogens (Ogen, Premarin, and many other types);

  • fluvoxamine (Luvox);

  • methotrexate (Folex, Rheumatrex);

  • mexiletine (Mexitil) and propafenone (Rythmol);

  • propranolol (Inderal);

  • tacrine (Cognex);

  • ticlopidine (Ticlid); and

  • verapamil (Verelan, Calan, Isoptin).

The following drugs may decrease theophylline levels in your blood, leading to poor asthma control:

  • aminoglutethimide (Cytadren),

  • carbamazepine (Tegretol),

  • isoproterenol (Isuprel),

  • moricizine (Ethmozine),

  • phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton),

  • phenytoin (Dilantin),

  • rifampin (Rifadin), and

  • sucralfate (Carafate).

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with oxtriphylline or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Further information

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about oxtriphylline written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Many different formulations of oxtriphylline are available with a prescription under the brand name Choledyl and generically. Regular-release tablets, sustained-release tablets, a syrup, and an elixir are all available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.