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What is aminophylline?

Aminophylline is an older drug that used to be the mainstay of asthma treatment.  It is a "bronchodilator" which is a drug that relaxes the airways of the lung.  It can be taken orally or given intravenously.  This medication is not used frequently now because it has many side effects and carries many risks if a patient is overdosed.  Blood levels of the medication must be obtained and monitored frequently to keep the medication in a range that will treat symptoms without causing bad side effects.

Now we have many drugs that are easier to use with less side effects.  The drugs now are also more targeted specifically to the lung and airways.  These newer drugs do not have to have blood levels checked which is much easier on the patient.  In certain asthmatics, though, aminophylline can still play a role in the patient's plan of care.

Aminophylline treats lung diseases that cause breathing problems, such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Like other bronchodilators, aminophylline works by relaxing and opening up the bronchial tubes, the air passages in the lungs, to alleviate wheezing and shortness of breath. It is administered as an intravenous infusion in a hospital setting.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.