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Aminophylline Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 4, 2022.

For the Consumer

Applies to aminophylline: intravenous solution

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, aminophylline may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking aminophylline:

Incidence not known

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking aminophylline:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • dark-colored urine
  • decrease in frequency of urination
  • decreased urine
  • diarrhea
  • 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
  • fever
  • increased thirst
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of appetite
  • mood changes
  • muscle cramps or spasms
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • nervousness
  • 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
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of aminophylline may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to aminophylline: compounding powder, intravenous solution, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release, rectal suppository


The most common adverse events with peak serum theophylline levels under 20 mcg/mL are transient caffeine-like events such as nausea, vomiting, headache, and insomnia. When serum theophylline exceeds 20 mcg/mL a wide range of adverse events may occur, including persistent vomiting, cardiac arrhythmias, and potentially lethal intractable seizures.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Nausea, vomiting, persistent vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hematemesis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Multifocal atrial tachycardia and flutter (in patients with hypoxia secondary to COPD), sinus tachycardia, other supraventricular tachycardias, ventricular premature beats, atrial fibrillation or flutter, ventricular arrhythmias with hemodynamic instability, hypotension/shock[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Headache, seizures[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Severe allergic reactions of the skin (including exfoliative dermatitis)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, acid/base disturbance[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Fine skeletal muscle tremors, rhabdomyolysis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Insomnia, irritability, restlessness, nervousness, disorientation[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Transient diuresis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Tremors, death[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Contact dermatitis[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Theo-Dur (theophylline)." Schering Corporation (2001):

2. "Product Information. Aminophylline (aminophylline)." Hospira Inc (2018):

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.