Asthma UK community forum


Hey all

Saw my consultant this morning and he decided to start me on theophylline very much as a last resort as apparently it isn't actually that effective in helping severe asthma, so just wondering what the views of those on theophylline reckon to it? Helpful or not? And are the side-effects as bad as I seem to have gotten in to my head?!

Thanks in advance for replies :)

Emz xx

11 Replies

Hello Emz,

I have been taking Theophylline for many years. Uniphyllin 300 mg twice a day.

Do you have IV Aminophylline? And does that work well for you? If so, Theo may help, though it may take a bit to get the levels right.

Yes, It can make you feel sick, try it and see but if it is really bad ask cons what to do. May try a lower dose. Make sure you have it regularly so the doses don't overlap. I can get away with 11 - 13 hrs between doses.

If it makes stomach grouchy, eat something with it. eg breackfast or evening snack.

It really varies from person to person with the side effects. 300 is my limit.

Some hosps are obsessed with blood levels - there is a fine line between therapeutic level and toxic levels in blood. (Hence side effects)

It works for me, well adds to all the other meds I take and keeps me a bit betterer!




hi crazybaby.

I take slophylin twice a day and when realy bad I have to double the tabs for my ation plan.

I did have a few side efects when first went on it and now I dont.

When I have to double my slophyllin 250 2 tabs morning and night after about 10 days I get

head aches and then drop the dose back to normal.

good luck love glynis xxx

edit- never had a blood test for slophyllin but I know when to reduce it, head hurts alot and

get toxic so reduce it back to my normal dose


I have taken Theophylline for many years and have found it very helpful. I don't take it regularly anymore, but if I'm feeling bad with asthma I take it. I do have side effects (slight nausea, increased heart rate) but I much prefer to have them than the asthma. My son (13) takes it regularly and has no side effects at all.

I hope it helps you.


Thanks for your words of wisdom guys :)

Kate - I've never had IV amino, always have hydrocortisone and MgSO4 for some strange reason! Bit fingers crossed it should help a bit :)



Hi I take it also. Unfortunately like people say there is a fine line between therapeutic and toxic dose so blood monitoring gets done. I have problems with bad nausea and vomiting. Could cope with the palpitations so im m only on 200mg at night as nausea and vomitying always comes back when i increase above this.


I take uniphyllin and find it definitely does help. It does increase my heart rate slightly but I don't really notice that too much. The worst side effect for me is the nausea, if it does work for you and you feel sick you could try reducing the dose or asking for some anti-sickness drugs to take.

Hope it works for you.


Hi emz

I take theophylline it works fantastic for me although for the first two week of taking it i had horrid side affects but thankfully they disappeared. I only get them now if another medication is added just till balance is correct or if i am over tired i seem to get them then.

I word of warning that i learnt the hard way! Do not have caffeine or anything containing caffeine with it as it makes the side affects twice as bad! Also watch the amount of chocolate you have as this can make side affects worse.

It is amazing though and the side affects are ok when you compare what your asthma was like before you went on it. I would recommend it any day! It has really changed and improved my asthma.



....Oh yes, avoid that double expresso / macciatto etc


Ah, I'm a big tea drinker, I take it I should watch this too!? :( xx



I've just been put on uniphyllin 200mg 2xdaily a couple of days ago and the side effects like nausea and especially increased heart beat appeared almost instantly. I felt really horrible yesterday and was debating whether to stop them or not but glad I kept on them as I had a good day today.

As it's been mentioned cut the caffeine intake and make sure you'll have something to eat prior to taking them.

Hope they'll help you;-)

love Lydia x



I've been on Uniphylline 400mg bd for a few years now and although I'm still not great, am better on it than off. I've been toxic a couple of times, all antibiotic related but apart from that I don't appear to have noticeable side effects. I haven't noticed tea, coffee or chocolate makes any difference either. One thing I have always noticed though is that my sweat smells of chlorine! I constantly smell like I've been swimming.


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