Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

theophylline oral

Xanthine Derivatives/Charcoal

This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any drug or commencing any course of treatment.

Medical warning:

Moderate. These medicines may cause some risk when taken together. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.

How the interaction occurs:

Charcoal may decrease the amount of theophylline your body absorbs.

What might happen:

Levels of theophylline in the blood may be decreased, making the theophylline less effective.

What you should do about this interaction:

Make sure that your healthcare professionals (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) know which medicines you are currently taking. These medicines may be given together in the case of an overdose of theophylline. Your doctor may check blood levels for theophylline. The dose of theophylline may be adjusted or given two to three hours before the charcoal to prevent a decreased effect if the charcoal is not being given for a theophylline overdose.Your healthcare professionals may already be aware of this interaction and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

References:

1.Sintek C, Hendeles L, Weinberger M. Inhibition of theophylline absorption by activated charcoal. J Pediatr 1979 Feb;94(2):314-6.
2.Helliwell M, Berry D. Theophylline absorption by effervescent activated charcoal (Medicoal). J Int Med Res 1981;9(3):222-5.
3.Ginoza GW, Strauss AA, Iskra MK, Modanlou HD. Potential treatment of theophylline toxicity by high surface area activated charcoal. J Pediatr 1987 Jul;111(1):140-2.
4.Goldberg MJ, Spector R, Park GD, Johnson GF, Roberts P. The effect of sorbitol and activated charcoal on serum theophylline concentrations after slow-release theophylline. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1987 Jan;41(1):108-11.
5.True RJ, Berman JM, Mahutte CK. Treatment of theophylline toxicity with oral activated charcoal. Crit Care Med 1984 Feb;12(2):113-4.
6.Berlinger WG, Spector R, Goldberg MJ, Johnson GF, Quee CK, Berg MJ. Enhancement of theophylline clearance by oral activated charcoal. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1983 Mar;33(3):351-4.
7.Park GD, Radomski L, Goldberg MJ, Spector R, Johnson GF, Quee CK. Effects of size and frequency of oral doses of charcoal on theophylline clearance. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1983 Nov;34(5):663-6.
8.Mahutte CK, True RJ, Michiels TM, Berman JM, Light RW. Increased serum theophylline clearance with orally administered activated charcoal. Am Rev Respir Dis 1983 Nov;128(5):820-2.
9.Radomski L, Park GD, Goldberg MJ, Spector R, Johnson GF, Quee CK. Model for theophylline overdose treatment with oral activated charcoal. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1984 Mar;35(3):402-8.
10.Gal P, Miller A, McCue JD. Oral activated charcoal to enhance theophylline elimination in an acute overdose. JAMA 1984 Jun 15; 251(23):3130-1.
11.Sessler CN, Glauser FL, Cooper KR. Treatment of theophylline toxicity with oral activated charcoal. Chest 1985 Mar;87(3):325-9.
12.Davis R, Ellsworth A, Justus RE, Bauer LA. Reversal of theophylline toxicity using oral activated charcoal. J Fam Pract 1985 Jan;20(1):73-4.
13.Amitai Y, Yeung AC, Moye J, Lovejoy FH Jr. Repetitive oral activated charcoal and control of emesis in severe theophylline toxicity. Ann Intern Med 1986 Sep;105(3):386-7.
14.Shannon M, Amitai Y, Lovejoy FH Jr. Multiple dose activated charcoal for theophylline poisoning in young infants. Pediatrics 1987 Sep; 80(3):368-70.
15.Minton NA, Glucksman E, Henry JA. Prevention of drug absorption in simulated theophylline overdose. Hum Exp Toxicol 1995 Feb;14(2):170-4.
16.Minton NA, Henry JA. Prevention of drug absorption in simulated theophylline overdose. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1995;33(1):43-9.
17.Jain R, Tholl DA. Activated charcoal for theophylline toxicity in a premature infant on the second day of life. Dev Pharmacol Ther 1992; 19(2-3):106-10.

See 28 Reviews for this Drug. - OR -

Review this Treatment

Find a Drug:

by name or medical condition or shape/color (Pill Identifier)

(for example: aspirin)

(for example: diabetes)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
 
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Ask the pharmacist

Questions about medications? Get expert answers by video or live chat about allergies, pregnancy, sleep, and more.
See the Ask the Pharmacist event schedule.

Ask a Question

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

tea
What you should eat.
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
colon xray
Get the facts.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
fruit drinks
Foods that can help you focus.
Sad dog and guacamole
Don't feed this to your dog.
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.

WebMD the app

Get trusted health information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More

IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.