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theophylline

I have been taking theophylline for 25 years for asthma.  Most of the time it works well, but my new primary care doctor and an allergist I saw refused to refill my prescription. I do not want to use inhalers with steroids because I have type 2 diabetes and because I do not like the way they make me feel.  Plain albuterol inhalers work but make me very shaky and do not last long.  Is there a reason for this resistance to theophylline?  Is it just because it is an old drug?  
4 Responses
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1580703 tn?1651904887
I also have diabetes and came down with some fungal infection after using inhalers
Helpful - 0
1580703 tn?1651904887
does anyone know about the heart benefits of theophylline in increasing oxygen to the heart?
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1580703 tn?1651904887
I read it can cause arrythmias- but I also read it can increase oxygen to the heart and treat angina
what is the toxic dose, I was put on 400mg/day sometimes I take 600/day
it causes slight headache for me, don't feel much of a difference right now on it but that seems great if you can take it instead of prednisone
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942934 tn?1268108382
Theophylline is an older drug that comes with a lot of side effects, can easily reach toxic levels in the body and is not as good as the inhaled steroids when treating asthma. This drug also interacts with a lot of other drugs and interacts with some drugs to become more toxic. It is not a first line drug for asthma.

Honestly as we age many of us develop other conditions which require medicinal treatment, your risks of drug interactions will increase. I have a cousin who has type 1 diabetes and she takes the normal asthma inhalers. If you really don't want to do inhaled steroids, and your asthma is mild enough, then you should consider Singulair. Theophylline is used when inhaled steroids is not enough and the physician wants to avoid prescribing oral steroids (ex. Prednisone), which has terrible side effects over the long term.

I can understand your doctor's hesitancy to prescribe this particular drug to you, when there are many better alternatives. Also with any drug there are initial side effects that do disappear over time with use. Just have patience with them, and work with your doctor to find the best drug that works for you.

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