What is Aminophylline?

Melanie Smeltzer
Melanie Smeltzer
Aminophylline helps asthma and lung disease sufferers by decreasing lung sensitivity to allergens and relaxing muscles in the chest and lungs.
Aminophylline helps asthma and lung disease sufferers by decreasing lung sensitivity to allergens and relaxing muscles in the chest and lungs.

Aminophylline is a bronchodilator used to help treat and prevent restricted breathing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. This medication is generally prescribed to those who suffer from asthma and lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It works by decreasing lung sensitivity to allergens and foreign substances, relaxing muscles in both the chest and lungs, and increasing contractions in the diaphragm.

Sodas and other items containing caffeine should not be consumed in large quantities in combination with aminophylline.
Sodas and other items containing caffeine should not be consumed in large quantities in combination with aminophylline.

This medication is a combination of the compounds ethylenediamine and the bronchodilator theophylline. Together, these two compounds help to relieve many of the symptoms associated with asthma and lung disease. Aminophylline works by allowing the muscles that surround the airway and lungs to relax, which will cause the bronchioles to open up, allowing air to flow in and out with more ease. This medication also helps the diaphragm contract and strengthen. In addition, aminophylline is said to help lower sensitivity in the lungs, which may decrease the immune response that can contribute to asthma attacks.

Aminophylline is sometimes used to help cats and dogs with breathing conditions.
Aminophylline is sometimes used to help cats and dogs with breathing conditions.

As well as treating breathing conditions, aminophylline may potentially be of use in other areas. This medication is sometimes used as an ingredient in body-fat reducer creams. When topically applied, it is said to expel any excess water from the skin, which may help reduce the appearance of cellulite. There is also potential for this drug to treat other conditions, such as bradycardia and anaphylactic shock. Additionally, it is sometimes used to help cats and dogs with breathing conditions, as well as pulmonary edema and heart failure.

Aminophylline may be used to treat patients with asthma.
Aminophylline may be used to treat patients with asthma.

Aminophylline is usually given in tablet form, but may also come as a liquid, suppository or injection. It is often administered in daily doses that should be taken every six, eight, or 12 hours, though frequency will vary from person to person. This drug may interact with certain foods or other medications. Foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, cola, or chocolate, should not be consumed in large quantities. Xanthine oxidase inhibitors, certain hormones, and some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be avoided while taking this medication, as they may affect how it works or increase side effects.

A headache and irritability are two of the possible side effects of aminophylline.
A headache and irritability are two of the possible side effects of aminophylline.

As with most medications, aminophylline may cause some side effects. Milder side effects may include stomach complaints, headache, irritability, or trouble sleeping. More severe reactions include a change in heart rate or heartbeat, seizures, or skin allergies. Patients are generally advised to contact their doctor if severe side effects occur or mild ones become persistent.

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    • Aminophylline helps asthma and lung disease sufferers by decreasing lung sensitivity to allergens and relaxing muscles in the chest and lungs.
      By: Alexandr Mitiuc
      Aminophylline helps asthma and lung disease sufferers by decreasing lung sensitivity to allergens and relaxing muscles in the chest and lungs.
    • Sodas and other items containing caffeine should not be consumed in large quantities in combination with aminophylline.
      By: Deyan Georgiev
      Sodas and other items containing caffeine should not be consumed in large quantities in combination with aminophylline.
    • Aminophylline is sometimes used to help cats and dogs with breathing conditions.
      By: Ilike
      Aminophylline is sometimes used to help cats and dogs with breathing conditions.
    • Aminophylline may be used to treat patients with asthma.
      By: uwimages
      Aminophylline may be used to treat patients with asthma.
    • A headache and irritability are two of the possible side effects of aminophylline.
      By: vpavlyuk
      A headache and irritability are two of the possible side effects of aminophylline.
    • Individuals suffering from chronic bronchitis may be prescribed aminophylline.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      Individuals suffering from chronic bronchitis may be prescribed aminophylline.
    • Trouble sleeping can be a mild side effect of aminophylline.
      By: Johan Larson
      Trouble sleeping can be a mild side effect of aminophylline.
    • Aminophylline may be used to help treat chronic bronchitis.
      By: joshya
      Aminophylline may be used to help treat chronic bronchitis.