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Aminophylline

By: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

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Overview

  • When the smooth muscle in the airways contracts, air flow into and within the lungs is impeded. This condition is often referred to as bronchospasm and occurs in disorders such as asthma.
  • Aminophylline relaxes the smooth muscles in the airways and provides relief from obstructive airway diseases, such as asthma. It also acts as a central nervous stimulant. Aminophylline belongs to a class of drugs called bronchodilators. Related drugs include theophylline.
  • Aminophylline is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but may be prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Various generic preparations exist. Manufacturers include Abbott, Balan, Bioline, Roxane, Searle and URL.
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Use of Aminophylline

  • Aminophylline is used to open the airway in the treatment of bronchitis and asthma.
  • Aminophylline has been used to stimulate the central nervous system and to treat apnea in neonates.
  • It has also been used as a cardiac stimulant in heart failure.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, aminophylline may cause side effects in some animals.
  • Aminophylline should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • The drug should be used with caution in animals with liver or heart disease.
  • Possible side effects include anxiety, nervousness and gastrointestinal problems.
  • Aminophylline may interact with other medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with aminophylline. Such drugs include ketoconazole, rifampin, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, cimetidine, corticosteroids and ephedrine.

    How Aminophylline is Supplied

  • Aminophylline is available in 100 mg and 200 mg immediate-release tablets, and as a 105 mg/5 ml oral liquid.
  • Injectable aminophylline is available in a 250 mg/10 ml concentration.
  • In addition, aminophylline is also available as 250 mg and 500 mg suppositories.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • In dogs, aminophylline is dosed at 3 to 5 mg per pound (6 to 11 mg/kg) orally, or by injection, every 8 hours.
  • In cats, aminophylline is dosed at 2 mg per pound (5 mg/kg) orally every 8 to 12 hours.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian.




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