How Does Theophylline Work?
Theophylline (brand names include Uniphyl® and Theocron®, among others) is a naturally occurring product that is chemically similar to caffeine. It is available in several different forms, including capsules, tablets, an elixir, and an injection. The medicine has been used to treat asthma for more than 100 years. However, its use has decreased in the wake of newer, more effective asthma treatments.
How does it work? Theophylline causes the muscles of the airways to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs. It also helps prevent allergic reactions and inflammation that can lead to asthma attacks.
(To learn more about how this drug works, click Theophylline. This article also takes an in-depth look at the medicine's potential side effects, drug warnings, and dosing guidelines.)