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Theophylline is a bronchodilator used in veterinary therapy that is effective in the management of congestive heart failure, asthmatic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in animals. Included in the drug classification as smooth muscle relaxant, the medication is active against conditions affecting the respiratory muscles of dogs and cats. Theophylline, the active ingredient contained in the medication helps in relaxing the muscles in and around the windpipe, thereby dealing with the breathing complications due to asthma. The medication effectively works as airway dilator by widening bronchitis tubes to facilitate easy breathing. Theophylline is available only by prescription and comes as tablets, long active capsules and liquid.
The medication is safe to be used in dogs and cats. The suggested dosage of theophylline for dogs is 4.5 to 6.8mg per pound by mouth every 12 hours and for cats 2mg/lbs in every 8-12 hours. In case of long active tablets, the prescribed dosage for dogs is 10mg/lbs. Give the medicine on an empty stomach, which is an hour before or 2 hours after food intake. Also, when giving long active tablets, the medicine must be swallowed whole and must not be crushed or broken for convenience.
Theo-Dur (Key), Theolair (UCB Pharma), Uniphyl (Purdue Pharma)
The medication has certain side effects such as irritation in the stomach, nervous system excitement etc. Other side effects that are likely to occur are vomiting, diarrhea, increased palpitation, a rise in body temperature, increased heart rate, skin rashes etc. However, alter the dosage to control much of these symptoms.
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