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Chapter 52: Drugs to Treat Asthma and Other Pulmonary Diseases


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What does theophylline prevent? What does theophylline control?
Prophylaxis (prevention) and treatment of asthma, bronchospasm, maintenance therapy in COPD, and the apnea of premature neonates.
Name the intravenous form of theophylline.
What is meant by the statement in the text, “Theophylline has a narrow therapeutic index”
A drug with a narrow therapeutick index has a narrow safety margin. A drug with a low therapeutic index is more dangerous for patients because small increases over normal doses may be sufficient to induce toxic reactions.
Name the two most common adverse effects of oral theophylline. Name three more
common side effects.
Nausea and epigastric pain.
Headache, dizziness, and nervousness.
What has traditionally been used as the therapeutic range of theophylline?
10-20 mcg/ml
What serious and life threatening adverse effects may occur when the plasma concentration of theophylline exceeds the therapeutic range?
Agitation, exaggerated reflexes, and mild muscle tremors are often seen.
What other adverse reactions to theophylline may be seen in the therapeutic range?
Seizures and arrhythmia.
Name one group of clients that may require an increased dose of theophylline to be
If gastric irritation is not present what is the preferred administration time of theophylline in
relation to meals?
Before meals on an empty stomach
Why should a person who is taking theophylline as maintenance therapy contact their health care provider before they quit smoking?
The dose of xanthine may need to be adjusted.

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