Asthma UK community forum
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Newbie with a medical question

Hi, I'm a newbie on these boards. :-)

Despite being diagnosed with asthma many many years ago, it was never a problem until 18 months ago when I got hospitalised with a severe attack. I was put on seretide, salbutamol, montelukast and prednisolone in an emergency. Now home from hospital after my second severe asthma attack, my asthma nurse is considering putting me onto new medication, but I cant remember the name of it. Supposedly you take it in tablet form twice a day and have to get bloods checked on a fortnightly basis. There are also many side effects until you get the dosage right.

Does anyone know the name of this medication and did it have any effect?

Thanks in advance.


6 Replies

Sounds like theophylline - never been on it myself, but loads of others on the boards have, and I'm sure someone will give you first-hand experience very shortly.

Welcome to the boards, BTW!




Heya :o) yeh it sounds like theophyline/uniphyline/slo-phyline. I got put on this about 3-4 weeks ago and was pretty daunted by the prospect of blood tests and the toxis levels etc. I havent had many side effects so far. Most notibly was insomnia, which has been made a bit better by taking the tablets earlier than all my others (7am & 7pm as needs to be spaced 12 hours apart).

I also had a ""funny"" spell at work, major headache, wobbly vision, feeling like i was going to pass out. Not sure if its related to the uniphyline as it was on the 3rd day i took it and i had drank a lot of caffine so i think we'll blame it on that!



Yes does sound like theophylline!

Nicki - caffeine is similar to the active component in Theophylline and they can make you feel headachey, jittery and a bit sick. I avoid lots of caffein.

Natalie - if it is theophylline that your doc was talking about, it can take a bit to get right but it is a very good drug for some people and will help. I take it and it keeps me on an even keel - most of the time! Just avoid lots of expressos!



hi Natalie, yes it certainly does sound like theophylline - though I never had regular blood tests, or indeed any to start with, though my levels now get checked about once a year or if I am in hospital. I think regular blood tests to start with are recommended these days but they can be very infrequent once you've got the dose right for you.

The drug is related to caffeine (it's called a ""xanthine"") so it can make you feel a bit jittery to start with. I also felt vaguely seasick the very first day I took it (I was 18 and going out with friends that day so was most annoyed!) but if that happens to you it wears off quite quickly once the dose is right and your body is used to it. For me it is a fantastic drug that definitely keeps me much more stable - if I forget a tablet (which I do occasionally) I notice a much tighter chest about 12 hours later, like clockwork!

So despite the relatively minor hassle it's well worth it for many people, I hope it works for you. Welcome to the boards too!



Thankyou all for your replies.

My asthma nurse has prescribed new seretide and salbutamol accuhalers (stronger dosage) and I am to take take them in conjunction with my montelukast. In two months time if there is no vast improvement, she will prescribe Theophylline. I'd never heard of this one and it was a daunting prospect especially as the nurse did mention a list of possible side effects. Eek!

Feel happier now having read all your replies.

Many thanks from sunny Inverness.

Natalie. :-)


hi tallythom

hope you get sorted out soon and don't need the theo. I'm on it, and after the 1st few weeks getting used to it and feeling a bit queer I'm now fine. Like the others I avoid coffee, and have cut down tea to 2 cups a day, and coffee as a real treat! It definately helped me, and I notice if i don't take it - not only with the symptom increase, but also if i don't take it for a few days (stupidly went on work course and forgot it!) then I get the side effects whilst it gets back into my blood stream. I don't ahve regular blood tests - they check it about twice a year or so, or whenever i have any other blood tests, but my starting dose seems to be working for me luckily.

Good luck


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