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British Lung Foundation
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I would to hear from anyone who has been taking this drug for some time but who hasn't had the regular blood tests you are supposed to have to monitor the levels of theophylline in your body. As far as I can remember, apart from prior to taking it for the first time, at least 6 years ago, I've never had another blood test for it. I understand from the patient leaflet that too much theophylline in the body can cause anxiety (amongst other things) and as I suffer from anxiety I am wondering if anyone else thinks they may be affected this way.


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11 Replies

I`ve been taking this for 7 months now but can`t say I`ve noticed any side effects but after what you have said I will scrutinize the information that comes in the pack. I know nothing about blood tests but I have my appointment with consultant in a couple of weeks so

I have been taking it for well over a year, and have only been monitored once when I was first on it. I havent had any undue anxiety - except perhaps that \i am not being monitored!!!!

I`ll ask him.

Sue, x (Sorry don`t know what happened there)!

I take this medication and this is the first I know about blood tests. I have had problems with anxiety and depression and when I look back this could be related to me starting on this medication. I am glad you posted this question as it may be the answer I am looking for. Thank youx

I take a different type of theophylline and if I take certain types of antibiotic have to reduce the theophylline dosage, then I have had blood tests to monitor the theophylline levels. Aside from that, it was only when I first started on theophylline that the levels were checked because of the dosage that I was on. Take care, Richard.

My daughter was prescribed theophylline 25 years ago when she was 8, and we had to for regular blood tests to check the levels, but perhaps that was because she was young and small.

The helpline will know on Monday I guess.

I think a side affect of Salbutamol for some people is anxiety too.

I think it depends on the dosage level whether they give you a blood test or not, I was on 200mg for 20 years and had none after the initial one.

Over the last 10 years I was on 300mg and now 400mg and they test me now every 6 months

or whenever I complain about regular headaches they seem to test more frequently!

Certainly, I have never suffered from anxiety whilst taking it.

Best Regards,


I have been taking Slo-Phyllin since 1997, and havent had any blood tests in all that time. I do have problems with depression and anxiety, due I think to my lung problems - I'm a dreadful worrier and panic over nowt, lol - but my doc prescribed citalopram a few months ago and its been a great help.

I didnt know that the theophyllin could cause anxiety, but as my doc is reluctant to take me off it, i suppose as with most drugs, we are prescribed another to counteract the side effects.... and on it goes....... :)

Hi Libby...Was prescribed theophylline after first severe asthma attack in 2000 and have been on it ever since. Only one doctor has thought of monitoring it , results were ok, and I always forget to bring it up whenever I see anyone.

I have a lot of headaches but have done since early twenties and a certain amount of anxiety, mainly, I think, about my breathing problems. Interesting question though.

Lovelight x

I have been on slo-phyllin (similar to theophyllin). I was given a blood test after 6 weeks but not since. Can not say I have had any side effects. I was depressed and stressed quite a number of years ago, prior slo-phyllin, but that was due to my husband who has a mental health illness. I was prescribed citalopran which helped a great deal. This illness is bound to make us feel depressed and I would strongly recommend discussing with your doctor about anti depressants. Susie

Thanks everyone, for your replies. I have recently started on citalopram which is making me more anxious than ever, but I understand it can take a few weeks to settle down. As my anxiety suddenly started last year I can't help thinking there's more reason than just having severe copd, although I realise once it gets a grip it's very hard to get rid of it. Am going to ask the community matron next week about being tested for theophylline again, probably a dead end but worth a try. Anything's worth a try to get rid of this anxiety. Libby

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