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Oral theophyllines - old and new


Gastro-intestinal disturbances limit the dosage and resulting bronchodilator activity of oral theophylline and its derivatives. In 1963 we concluded that choline theophyllinate (Choledyl - A & H) is often effective in doses which do not cause unwanted effects and that it was probably more effective than other preparations of equivalent theophylline content.1 We suggested that it is advisable to increase the dose of the drug until it is effective or gastro-intestinal symptoms occur. Should an oral theophylline drug fail to help, as is often the case in more severely affected patients, then it is useless and wasteful to continue. Since our report several new theophylline compounds have been marketed and there are now over 40 oral preparations containing a theophylline compound alone or mixed with one or more other substances. Some are widely promoted.

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