Asthma UK community forum
9,830 members16,609 posts

theophylline, alendronic acid, any information will be greatly appreciated

Hi just had my first very scary and tearful experience of being on HDU ward, whilst in there consulant has put me on 3 more pills on top of what i already take, these are, theophylline 200mg twice day, alendronic acid 70mg once a week and adcal d3. He also sending me to have a DEXA scan (i khow this is bone density, but how is it done). This is all very daunting so any information will be greatly appreciated.

thanks mo x

8 Replies

Hello Mo,

Sorry you have had a scary time.

Theophylline is an oral bronchodilator (You can also have it IV as Aminophylline when in hospital) and you may find you need blood tests to check levels. Look at the leaflet that comes with it but don't worry too much about all the blurb. Though if you get any of the side effects such as nausea & vomiting, the dose may be a bit high so please see your doctor. I Take Uniphyllin brand.

Alendronic acid is a once weekly tablet - PLEASE take as directed! once a week, first thing, sitting up. I used to take this but changed to another treatment as I developed problems with it.

Adcal D3 - I take this too. Ask for lemon flavour as it is slightly better than tutti fruity!

You shouldn't get any interactions with these.

DEXA scan - this is done with a special small scanner - usually by a specialist nurse. You will have to lie down, but you can be propped up a bit. Then there is a wide arm that scans your spine and your hips in two separate scans. These only last around 5 minutes each. For one of them they will pop your legs on a cube, like sitting in a chair on your back. I have had many of these over the years.

Hope this helps




Ah, hope you're doing ok. Not sure about the medication apart from there is a lot of info here on them. Theophylline may be next step for me but have to wait for hosp. appt.

There's more info on how a dexa scan is done here (delete any spaces)

Kate Moss, dexa scans are usually done by radiographers not specialist nurses.


I take these medications and have done for a long time...once my theophyline levels were sorted I have found it quite useful...hope things work out for you


Was a specialist osteoporosis nurse who I have know for a few years!

The results were probably interpreted either by my consultant or a radiographer.


I've taken oral theophyllines in the past, they work really well for some people but I couldn't tolerate them. Shame as IV aminophylline works really well for me... the only thing I'd say is to make sure that your blood levels are checked whilst you're establishing the right dose for you. Mine weren't checked and I ended up going toxic, it was not pretty!

I also take alendronic acid once a week. My first DEXA scan showed oesteopenia, my latest showed mild oesteopenia so it's doing its job! Make sure, like Kate says, you take it as directed. It's a powerful drug so it's really important to stay upright after taking it.

I take calcichew-D3 rather than Adcal. Don't have anything to say about that one, it's part of my breakfast now!

Both of my bone density scans have been done by radiographers. The first time I received the results in the post, the second time the radiographer talked me through the results which was nice. I can't think of anything else to add onto Kate's info :)

I hope you're feeling better after your scary experience, and the new meds help

Dawn x


Dexa scans are fine and well worth the trip to make sure you get the right protection against the side effects. Mmmm, calcichew!!

As other people have said different drugs work in different ways for different people, theophyllines not good for me as had bad side effects before reaching therapeutic dosing but for others they are great, just the same as everything else be sure you watch for any changes, mine was pretty obvious as it was blinding headaches and literally non-stop nosebleeds. i do belive the tolerance of these is pretty good though and the effects also goos so best of luck with it.


I've been on Theophylline for about 40 years and teenage son is on it. It's very good. I've also taken alendronic acid/extra calcium for about 10 years as a dexa scan showed osteopenia. Again, no problems. Dexa scan is straightforward. So don't worry about any of it.


thankyou all so much for your replies, i did not know that theophylline is the same as aminophylline which i have had through iv in a&e before. I think dr in HDU might have told me this but they 3 of them round bed talking to me and amongst themselves about what they think is best, it was all going over my head.

So once again thankyou all on this site and i feel much more possitive about things.



You may also like...