What Is Theophylline Prescribed For?

If you have asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), your healthcare provider may prescribe theophylline (brand names include Uniphyl® and Theocron®, among others). Theophylline is part of a class of drugs called methylxanthines or xanthine derivatives. It comes in a number of forms, one of which is also prescribed to treat breathing problems in premature babies.
 
Theophylline works to treat airway spasms by causing the muscles of the airway to relax. This opens up the airways and, in turn, allows more air to get into and through the lungs. It also helps prevent allergic reactions and inflammation that can lead to asthma attacks.
 
Theophylline also has several "off-label" uses, such as treating:
 
(For more details on what this product is prescribed for, click Theophylline Uses. This article gives a more detailed account of the drug's uses and explains whether children can use it.)
 
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