British Lung Foundation
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help required please

hello everyone.been reading this page for a while. I need help.I have COPD. had it for years, didnt really belive it would get as bad as it is now,have been on uniphyllin, 200mg, twice daily. I just couldnt get a proper sleep, persevered until today.visited g.p. who told me to take the 400mg in morning and I am concerned about this .does anyone else take only one dose daily. I am so fed up and worried . yor opinion would be most welcome. I have learned alot from this site so please help. thank you

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4 Replies

Hi nellie 15,

I take Slophyllin 250 in morning and 500 at night at the moment.waiting for blood results incase need more.

Take care xxx

Not one I've had myself, but it seems they are a slow release type and should be taken at the same time each day, after food.

Your GP may be trying to get the medication to give you the best dosage during the daytime, hence the 'morning' instruction, leaving the night time free from theophylline so you can sleep better?

It would be better to speak with your GP about it as we can't try and guess what the issues are and how your GP has reached their decision. You could also call the BLF helpline, there was a discussion about Uniphyllin Continus on the old BLF forum towards the end of last year and they may have information that could help you.

How long have you been on this drug nellie ? and are you having regular blood tests ? I used to take it (one a day, but I can't remember the strength now) but it was stopped around 12 months ago as my respiratory consultant didn't think I was gaining any benefit from it.

This is an extract from Manchester Primary Care Trust on the use of theophylline (Uniphyllin):

"Generally only use after trying inhaled bronchodilators, or in patients who can’t use inhaled therapy, as

there is a need to monitor plasma levels and interactions. Oral theophylline may provide symptom relief

in patients with COPD, particularly if they are hyperinflated. Slow release preparations should be used

which are brand specific. These drugs have a narrow therapeutic window and their half-life will vary

considerably particularly in smokers, in patients with hepatic impairment or heart failure, or if certain

drugs are taken concurrently.

Side effects: tachycardia, nausea, arrhythmias and convulsions

The formulary choice is Uniphyllin Continus tablets. Theophylline liquid is also available for patients

unable to take tablets. Give approximately the same dose of the liquid but in 3 to 4 divided doses.

Starting dose: Uniphyllin Continus 200 milligram twice daily. Check theophylline levels within a few days

of starting treatment. Take the level 8 to 12 hours after the last dose. Change dose accordingly, if

necessary, and recheck levels in 2 to 4 days. Maximum dose is 400 milligram twice daily. Check

theophylline levels every 6 to 12 months and more frequently if other changes occur which may affect its half-life."

If you call the BLF Helpline then I'm sure they can offer you appropriate advice.

I hope you're feeling better, and brighter, soon :)

thanks to everyone who answered. have started on 400mg uniphyllin this morning . my g.p. decided to change dose because I couldnt sleep, actually I didnt take last night's 299mg and slept better.I do want to keep taking this med as it has made such a difference.what a terrible disease this is! you are all my heroes, and your blogs lift my spirits when I am down..therefore again thanks, hope you dont mind when I share my concerns, I mostly tell people that I am fine, this seems like a safe place to voice my concerns, will let you know how I get on....thank you

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