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 Formulary Chapter 3: Respiratory system - Full Chapter

MHRA:Pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDI): risk of airway obstruction from aspiration of loose objects


The following acronyms may be mentioned in this section in reference to inhalers

  • MDI- Metered dose inhaler
  • DPI- Dry powder inhaler
  • BAA- Breath actuated aerosol
  • ICS- Inhaled corticosteroid
  • SABA- Short-acting bronchodilator
  • LABA- Long-acting bronchodilator
  • SAMA- Short-acting muscarinic
  • LAMA - Long-acting muscarinic
Chapter Links...
03.01.03  Expand sub section  Theophylline

Therapuetic Drug Monitoring Information

Please note oral theophylline/aminophylline must be specified by brand

Different brands are not interchangeable

Check interactions with theophyline before prescribing new drugs as further monitoring may be required

Factors to consider in TDM Information Further details
When level should be done (after initiation) 5 days  
When bloods should be taken 4-6hrs post dose  
Optimal drug levels 10–20 mg/litre
(55–110 micromol/litre)
Lower drug levels may still provide therapuetic benefit
When levels should be taken again following dose alteration 3 days  
Non-drugs factors which can affect levels Increased in:
  • Heart failure
  • Hepatic impairment
  • Viral infections
  • Elderly patients
Decreased in:
  • Smokers
  • Alcohol consumption
Consider levels if there are changes in the non-drug factors listed
Signs of toxicity
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting - Severe and protracted
  • Abdominal pain
  • Mild metabolic acidosis
  • Hypokalemia
  • Tachycardia
  • Hypophosphatemia
  • Hypomagnesemia
  • Hypocalcemia/hypercalcemia
  • Hyperglycemia
Seek advice if suspected
Uniphyllin Continus
(Theophylline )
View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF
First Choice

Always prescribe by brand

Phyllocontin Continus (Aminophylline)
View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF

Always prescribe by brand

February 2021:  

Phyllocontin® (aminophylline) Continus 225mg and Phyllocontin® Forte Continus 350mg modified-release tablets are being discontinued in the UK.  
Remaining supplies of the 225mg strength are expected to be exhausted by 2nd March 2021 and the 350mg strength are expected to be exhausted by 5th April 2021.
Please click here for further information
Aminophylline IV
View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF
Red Hospital
note Notes
Section Title Section Title (top level)
Section Title Section Title (sub level)
First Choice Item First Choice item
Non Formulary Item Non Formulary section
Restricted Drug
Restricted Drug
Unlicensed Drug
Track Changes
Display tracking information
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Link to adult BNF
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Link to children's BNF
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Link to SPCs
Scottish Medicines Consortium
Cytotoxic Drug
Cytotoxic Drug
Controlled Drug
High Cost Medicine
High Cost Medicine
Cancer Drugs Fund
Cancer Drugs Fund
NHS England

Traffic Light Status Information

Status Description


For routine prescribing in primary and secondary care.   


Initiated (if clinically urgent) or advised (if non-urgent) by specialist in secondary care, prescribing can be continued in primary care.   


Shared care  

Red Hospital

Hospital only  

Double Red

There should be no prescribing of these drugs  


The traffic light of the drug is dependant on the indication. Please see individual drug entry for details