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Theophylline, Ephedrine, Guaifenesin, and Phenobarbital (Systemic)
Theophylline, ephedrine, guaifenesin, and phenobarbital (fee-noe-BAR-bi-tal) combination is used to treat the symptoms of bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases. This medicine relieves cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and troubled breathing. It works by opening up the bronchial tubes (air passages) of the lungs and increasing the flow of air through them.
Before Using This Medicine
For theophylline, ephedrine, guaifenesin, and phenobarbital combination medicine, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to aminophylline, oxtriphylline, or theophylline; ephedrine or medicines like ephedrine such as albuterol, amphetamines, epinephrine, isoproterenol, metaproterenol, norepinephrine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, or terbutaline; or phenobarbital or other barbiturates. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Diet- Make certain your health care professional knows if you are on any special diet, such as a high-protein, low-carbohydrate or low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet.
Pregnancy- Theophylline is used to treat asthma in pregnant women. Although there are no studies on birth defects in humans, problems have not been reported. However, some studies in animals have shown that theophylline can cause birth defects when given in doses many times the usual human dose.
Because your ability to clear theophylline from your body may decrease later in pregnancy, your doctor may want to take blood samples during your pregnancy to measure the amount of medicine in the blood. This will help your doctor decide whether the dose of this medicine should be changed.
Theophylline crosses the placenta. Use of this medicine during pregnancy may cause unwanted effects, such as fast heartbeat, irritability, jitteriness, or vomiting, in the newborn infant if the amount of medicine in your blood is too high.
Ephedrine has been shown to cause birth defects in humans when used during the first trimester.
Phenobarbital taken during pregnancy has been shown to increase the chance of birth defects in humans. Also, taking phenobarbital regularly during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause the baby to become dependent on the medicine. This may lead to withdrawal symptoms in the baby after birth. In addition, one study in humans has suggested that phenobarbital taken during pregnancy may increase the chance of brain tumors in the baby.
Breast-feeding- Theophylline, ephedrine, and phenobarbital pass into the breast milk and may cause unwanted effects such as drowsiness, irritability, fretfulness, or trouble in sleeping in babies of mothers taking this medicine. Guaifenesin has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children- Newborn infants may be especially sensitive to the effects of theophylline, ephedrine, guaifenesin, and phenobarbital combination medicine. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment.
Older adults- Patients older than 60 years of age may be especially sensitive to the effects of theophylline, ephedrine, guaifenesin, and phenobarbital combination medicine. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking theophylline, ephedrine, and phenobarbital combination medicine, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of theophylline, ephedrine, and phenobarbital combination medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
This medicine works best when taken with a glass of water on an empty stomach (either 30 minutes to 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals) since that way it will get into the blood sooner. However, in some cases your doctor may want you to take this medicine with meals or right after meals to lessen stomach upset. If you have any questions about how you should be taking this medicine, check with your doctor.
Take this medicine only as directed . Do not take more of it and do not take it more often than recommended on the label, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. To do so may increase the chance of serious side effects. Also, if too much is taken, the phenobarbital in this medicine may become habit-forming.
In order for this medicine to help your medical problem, it must be taken every day in regularly spaced doses as recommended . This is necessary to keep a constant amount of this medicine in the blood. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss any doses.
The dose of theophylline, ephedrine, guaifenesin, and phenobarbital combination will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label .
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits , especially for the first few weeks after you begin taking this medicine. A blood test may be taken to help your doctor decide whether the dose of this medicine should be changed.
The theophylline in this medicine may add to the central nervous system (CNS) stimulant effects of caffeine-containing foods or beverages such as chocolate, cocoa, tea, coffee, and cola drinks. Avoid eating or drinking large amounts of these foods or beverages while taking this medicine . If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
The phenobarbital in this medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system, possibly causing drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; other barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine .
A change in your usual behavior or physical well-being may affect the way this medicine works in your body. Check with your doctor if you :
Before you have myocardial perfusion studies (a medical test that shows how well blood is flowing to your heart), tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of the test may be affected by this medicine.
This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert .
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT