Why is it prescribed?

Oxtriphylline is used to treat symptoms of conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, troubled breathing).

Products that have this ingredient include •Choledyl® expectorant •

See other drugs used in the treatment of •asthma •chronic bronchitis (COPD) •COPD •emphysema (COPD) •sleep apnea •

Along with its needed effects, oxtriphylline may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. The frequency and severity of these effects is dependant on many factors including dose, duration of therapy and individual response. Possible unwanted effects include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • nervousness
  • loss of appetite
  • headache
  • trouble in sleeping
  • irritability
  • tremor
  • abdominal discomfort


  • difficult or fast breathing
  • bloody or black tarry stools
  • seizures
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • blood in vomit
  • muscle twitching


  • rash
  • flushing
  • frequent urination

If you suspect that you are experiencing unwanted effects with your oxtriphylline, report them to your pharmacist.


Oxtriphylline is a bronchodilator that works by relaxing smooth muscles in the bronchial tubes (air passages to the lungs) to allow air to move in and out of the lungs more easily.

When starting this medication, it may take a few weeks for your physician to find the dose that is right for you. The doctor may draw some blood to help him/her determine how much oxtriphylline is in your body and then adjust your dose if there is too much or too little. The dose can vary quite significantly from person to person, even if they are the same sex, height and weight. It is very important that the correct oxtriphylline blood level be reached as inappropriate levels may result in serious unwanted effects.
Eating or drinking large quantities of products that are high in caffeine (chocolate, tea, coffee, soft drinks) can further increase oxtriphylline's stimulatory effects on the central nervous system (e.g. enhanced sleeplessness, agitation, uncomfortable heart beat).
Drug Interactions: Due to potentially serious interactions, it is important to inform your doctor and pharmacist of all the other medications you are taking, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Some medications can effect the amount of oxtriphylline in the blood. The following drugs and drug classes have been known to interact with oxtriphylline:

  • beta-blockers (e.g. propranolol)
  • cimetidine (e.g.Tagamet®)
  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro®)
  • erythromycin (e.g. Erythromid®)
  • lithium (e.g. Carbolith®)

Use is not recommended in the following situations:

  • allergy to any xanthine (e.g. theophylline)
  • heart disease
  • seizure disorder (unless receiving antiseizure medication)
  • stomach ulcer

Use in pregnancy: Use generally considered compatible with pregnancy but contact your doctor or pharmacist before using.
Use while breast-feeding: Considered compatible with breast-feeding but contact your doctor or pharmacist before use.


Page Last Updated: 25/11/2015