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Information about T-Phyl

Brand Name(s): Quibron-T/SR Dividose, Respbid, Slo-Phyllin Gyrocaps, Slo-bid Gyrocaps, Sustaire, T-Phyl, Theo-24, Theo-Dur, Theo-Sav, Theo-X, Theobid Duracaps, Theochron, Theoclear L.A., Theolair SR, Theospan-SR, Theovent, Uni-Dur, Uniphyl

Generic Name Theophylline ER

What are theophylline extended-release tablets or capsules?

THEOPHYLLINE (Slo-bid ™, Slo-Phyllin®, Theobid®, Theo-Dur®, Theolair™SR, Uni-Dur®) is a bronchodilator, or medicine that helps to make breathing easier. It relaxes the bronchial airways, improving the flow of air through the lungs. Theophylline helps to reduce coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing in patients with chronic (long-term) lung disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. Theophylline occurs naturally in teas and is chemically similar to caffeine or theobromine (found in cocoa). Generic theophylline extended-release tablets and capsules are available.

What should my health care professional know before I take theophylline?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • fever, flu or respiratory infection
  • heart or blood vessel disease, or previous heart attack
  • liver disease
  • prostate trouble
  • stomach disease, such as ulcers
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to theophylline, aminophylline, caffeine, theobromine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take theophylline extended-release tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets or capsules whole with a drink of water; do not crush or chew. (Theo-Dur® Sprinkle capsules can be opened and the contents sprinkled on soft food, such as applesauce, before swallowing without chewing). Take your doses at regular intervals; try to take doses at the same time each day. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. There should be at least 6 hours between doses if you take theophylline twice a day, and at least 12 hours between doses if you only take theophylline once a day. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with theophylline?

  • beta-blockers, often used for high blood pressure or heart problems
  • allopurinol
  • barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures (convulsions)
  • caffeine
  • certain antibiotics given by injection
  • diltiazem
  • disulfiram
  • ephedrine
  • erythromycin
  • fluvoxamine
  • guarana
  • influenza virus vaccine
  • ketoconazole
  • lansoprazole
  • lithium
  • medicines for colds and breathing difficulties
  • medicine for stomach ulcers and other stomach problems
  • methotrexate
  • mexiletine
  • prednisone
  • rifampin
  • seizure (convulsion) or epilepsy medicine
  • St. John's wort
  • tacrolimus
  • thyroid hormones, such as levothyroxine and liothyronine
  • verapamil
  • zafirlukast
  • zileuton

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking theophylline?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • anxiety, nervousness, restlessness
  • diarrhea
  • fainting spells, lightheadedness
  • fast or irregular breathing or heartbeat (palpitations)
  • flushing of the face
  • nausea, vomiting (especially if the vomit looks like coffee grounds)
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • skin rash and itching (hives)
  • unusual thirst
  • unusual weakness or tiredness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • increase in the need to pass urine
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach cramps

What should I watch for while taking theophylline?

Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your prescriber or health care professional may schedule regular blood tests, especially at first, to check how much theophylline is in your blood. There are many different brands of theophylline. Do not change your brand without checking with the prescriber or health care professional. Different brands may act differently in your body.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds and allergies. Some non-prescription medicines contain ingredients that can interact with theophylline. Also check with your prescriber or health care professional if you get diarrhea. This can mean that you are having too much theophylline.

Watch your diet while you are taking theophylline. Drinks with caffeine (like coffee, tea or cola) and food containing theobromine (like chocolate), can increase possible side effects to theophylline. Also charcoal-broiled food can stop theophylline from working properly.

If you smoke tobacco or marijuana you may affect the level of theophylline in your body. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for help to give up smoking.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking theophylline.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F). Keep container tightly closed. Protect from light and moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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