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Generic Name: aminophylline (a min OFF i lin)
Brand Name: Phyllocontin, Truphylline

The Truphylline brand name has been discontinued in the U.S. If generic versions of this product have been approved by the FDA, there may be generic equivalents available.

What is Truphylline (aminophylline)?

Aminophylline is a bronchodilator. Aminophylline 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.

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

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

What is the most important information I should know about Truphylline (aminophylline)?

Do not crush or chew any extended-release formulation of aminophylline. 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, increased heart rate, or a headache. These could be signs of too much aminophylline 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 medication than is prescribed without consulting your doctor. Seek medical attention if you are having increasing difficulty breathing.

Who should not take Truphylline (aminophylline)?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • a stomach ulcer;

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • 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 aminophylline, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

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

Aminophylline passes into breast milk and could affect a nursing baby. Do not take aminophylline 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 aminophylline. You may require a lower dose of this medication.

How should I take Truphylline (aminophylline)?

Take aminophylline 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 aminophylline with food to lessen stomach upset.

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

Do not crush or chew any extended-release formulation of aminophylline. 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.

Insert the suppositories rectally as directed.

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

Store aminophylline 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 an aminophylline overdose include nausea, vomiting, headache, insomnia, tremor (shaking hands or twitching,), restlessness, seizures, and irregular heartbeats.

What should I avoid while taking Truphylline (aminophylline)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Aminophylline 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 aminophylline, 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 aminophylline 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 dosage of aminophylline that you need.

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

Truphylline (aminophylline) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking aminophylline 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 also occur, although they are not common at appropriate doses. Continue to take aminophylline 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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Truphylline (aminophylline)?

Aminophylline 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 aminophylline 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 aminophylline 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 aminophylline 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 aminophylline written for health professionals that you may read.

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.

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