Aminophylline is a medicine to relieve complaints of shortness of breath , heavy breathing, or wheezing , in patients with asthma , bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This drug is available in two preparations, namely tablets and injections.

Aminophylline belongs to the class of bronchodilator drugs. This drug works by widening narrowed airways, so that air can flow from and to the lungs without obstruction. That way, the sufferer can breathe more easily.

Brand names of aminophylline: Aminophylline, Decafil, Erphafillin, and Phaminov.

What is Aminophylline?

Group Prescription drugs
Category Bronchodilators
Benefits Relieves the symptoms of respiratory disorders due to asthma , emphysema, bronchitis , or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Used by Adults and children
Aminophylline for pregnant and lactating women Category C: Studies on experimental animals show side effects on the fetus, but there are no controlled studies on pregnant women.

Medicines can only be used if the magnitude of the expected benefit exceeds the magnitude of the risk to the fetus.

Aminophylline is absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without first consulting your doctor.

Drug form Tablets and injections

Warnings Before Using Aminophylline

Some things to consider before using aminophylline are:

  • Do not use aminophylline if you are allergic to this drug or theophylline. Always tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
  • Tell the doctor if you are or have suffered from pulmonary edema , diabetes, seizures or epilepsy, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, hypertension , liver disease, porphyria , gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer, thyroid disease , or hypokalemia .
  • Tell your doctor if you experience shortness of breath or wheezing accompanied by a fever.
  • Tell the doctor if you have a smoking habit , because smoking can reduce the effectiveness of aminophylline.
  • Limit the consumption of food or drinks containing caffeine and alcohol during treatment with aminophylline, as it can increase the risk of side effects. Tell your doctor if you experience alcohol addiction or difficulty stopping caffeine consumption.
  • Do not immediately do activities that require alertness, such as driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery after using aminophylline, because this drug can cause dizziness and drowsiness in some people.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, including supplements and herbal products, to anticipate drug interactions.
  • Tell the doctor that you are taking aminophylline before undergoing vaccination with the influenza vaccine , or surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • See a doctor immediately if an allergic drug reaction or overdose occurs after using aminophylline.

Dosage and Administration of Aminophylline

The dose of aminophylline prescribed by the doctor can vary, depending on the preparation of the drug, as well as the age and condition of the patient. In certain conditions, the dose of aminophylline for adults and children will be adjusted according to the patient's body weight (BB).

The following is the dose of aminophylline based on the drug preparation and the condition being treated:

Conditions: Chronic shortness of breath in asthma , bronchitis, or COPD

Form: Tablet

  • Adults: 225–450 mg, 2 times a day. The dose starts from the lowest, then gradually increased if necessary.
  • Children aged ≥6 years : 10 mg/kgBW, 2 times a day. In some cases of chronic asthma, the dose used is 11-18 mg/kgBW, 2 times a day.

Condition: Acute shortness of breath

Form: Injection

  • Adults who do not take aminophylline: The initial dose is 5 mg/kgBW or 250–500 mg, given by infusion over 20–30 minutes. The maximum dose is 25 mg per minute.
  • Adults who take aminophylline: Administration of aminophylline infusion should be preceded by checking the theophylline level in the blood. If it is possible to give, the maintenance dose of aminophylline is 0.5 mg/kgBB per hour.
  • Children aged 6 months–9 years: The initial dose is the same as the adult dose. The treatment dose is 1 mg/kg per hour.
  • Children aged 10-16 years : The initial dose is the same as the adult dose. The treatment dose is 0.8 mg/kgBB per hour.

How to Use Aminophylline Correctly

Aminophylline in the form of injectable liquid will be given through infusion. This form of medicine can only be given by a doctor or medical personnel under the supervision of a doctor.

If you are prescribed oral aminophylline, follow your doctor 's advice and read the instructions on the aminophylline packaging label before you start taking it.

Aminophylline tablets can be consumed before or after meals. Swallow aminophylline tablets with water, without chewing, splitting, or crushing them first.

If you forget to take aminophylline, take it immediately if there is a delay with a missed dose of no more than 4 hours. If it has been more than 4 hours, ignore the missed dose and do not double the dose the next time you take the medicine.

While using aminophylline, the doctor may ask you to undergo blood tests periodically. This is to ensure that the level of aminophylline in the body is not too high and to check the level of potassium in the blood. Follow every control schedule that has been determined by the doctor.

Continue the treatment according to the time determined by the doctor, even if the condition has improved. Do not stop treatment suddenly without first consulting a doctor.

Store aminophylline tablets in a cool place and away from sunlight, and keep the medicine out of the reach of children.

Interactions of Aminophylline with Other Drugs

The following are a number of interaction effects that can occur if aminophylline is used together with other drugs:

  • Decreased effectiveness of aminophylline if used with carbamazepine , phenytoin, rifampicin , or ritonavir
  • Decreased effectiveness of beta-blockers and increased risk of side effects from aminophylline if used together
  • Increased levels of aminophylline in the blood and the risk of side effects if used with macrolide antibiotics, quinolones , or allopurinol, cimetidine, fluconazole, isoniazid , methotrexate, thiabendazole , or verapamil
  • Increased risk of seizures if used with the anesthetic ketamine
  • Increased effect of aminophylline poison which is fatal if used with ephedrine or other xanthine derivative drugs, such as  theophylline
  • Decreased effectiveness of adenosine or dipyridamole

Side Effects and Dangers of Aminophylline

Some side effects that may arise after using aminophylline are:

  • Headache or dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Restless and unable to stop moving
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach ache or heartburn
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Diarrhea

Consult a doctor if the complaints mentioned above do not subside or worsen. See a doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction to the drug, or more serious side effects, such as heart rhythm disorders or seizures.

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