Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 10/11/2022

Drug Summary

What Is Lufyllin?

Lufyllin (dyphylline) is a bronchodilator used to treat the symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

What Are Side Effects of Lufyllin?

Lufyllin may cause serious side effects including:

  • hives,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat,
  • confusion,
  • dizziness,
  • mental or mood changes,
  • muscle twitching, pain, or tenderness,
  • weakness,
  • rapid breathing,
  • fainting,
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat,
  • vomiting that looks like coffee grounds,
  • dark or tarry stools,
  • blood in the urine,
  • seizures,
  • rash, and
  • red or scaly skin

Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

Common side effects include:

  • stomach pain/cramping
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • headache
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • nervousness
  • shaking
  • flushing
  • increased urination
  • weight loss
  • tremor
  • lightheadedness, or
  • dizziness

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, or passing out;
  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors.

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Dosage for Lufyllin

The usual adult dosage of Lufyllin is up to 15 mg/kg every six hours.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Lufyllin?

Lufyllin may interact with alcohol, cimetidine, antibiotics, disulfiram, estrogens, fluvoxamine, methotrexate, mexiletine and propafenone, propranolol, tacrine, ticlopidine, verapamil, aminoglutethimide, carbamazepine, isoproterenol, moricizine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, and sucralfate. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Lufyllin During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, Lufyllin should be used only if prescribed. This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant (e.g., irritability). Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Lufyllin (dyphylline) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

Drug Description


LUFYLLIN (dyphylline), a xanthine derivative, is a bronchodilator available for oral administration as tablets containing 200 mg and 400 mg of dyphylline. Other ingredients: magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose.

Chemically, dyphylline is 7-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)-theophylline, a white, extremely bitter, amorphous powder that is freely soluble in water and soluble in alcohol to the extent of 2 g/100 mL. Dyphylline forms a neutral solution that is stable in gastrointestinal fluids over a wide range of pH.

The molecular formula for dyphylline is C 10 H 14 N 4 O 4 with a molecular weight of 254.25. The structual formula is:

Indications & Dosage


For relief of acute bronchial asthma and for reversible bronchospasm associated with chronic bronchitis and emphysema.


Dosage should be individually titrated according to the severity of the condition and the response of the patient.

Usual adult dosage:   Up to 15 mg/kg every six hours.

Appropriate dosage adjustments should be made in patients with impaired renal function (see Clinical PHARMACOLOGY ).


LUFYLLIN Tablets contain 200 mg dyphylline and are white, rectangular, scored on one side and imprinted WALLACE 521 on the other side. The tablets are available in bottles of 100 (NDC 0037-0521-92), 1000 (NDC 0037-0521-97), and 5000 (NDC 0037-0521-98).

LUFYLLIN-400 Tablets contain 400 mg dyphylline and are white, capsule-shaped, scored on one side and imprinted WALLACE 731 on the other side. The tablets are available in bottles of 100 (NDC 0037-0731-92), 1000 (NDC 0037-0731-97), and 2500 (NDC 0037-0731-99).

Storage:   Store at controlled room temperature 20°-25°C (68°-77°F).

Dispense in a tight container.

Division of
Carter-Wallace, Inc.
Cranbury, New Jersey 08512

Side Effects & Drug Interactions


Adverse reactions with the use of LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) have been infrequent, relatively mild, and rarely required reduction in dosage or withdrawal of therapy.

The following adverse reactions which have been reported with other xanthine bronchodilators, and which have most often been related to excessive drug plasma levels, should be considered as potential adverse effects when dyphylline is administered:

Gastrointestinal:   nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, hematemesis, diarrhea.

Central nervous system:   headache, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, hyperexcitability, agitation, muscle twitching, generalized clonic and tonic convulsions.

Cardiovascular:   palpitation, tachycardia, extrasystoles, flushing, hypotension, circulatory failure, ventricular arrhythmias.

Respiratory:   tachypnea.

Renal:   albuminuria, gross and microscopic hematuria, diuresis.

Other:   hyperglycemia, inappropriate ADH syndrome.


Synergism between xanthine bronchodilators (e.g., theophylline), ephedrine, and other sympathomimetic bronchodilators has been reported. This should be considered whenever these agents are prescribed concomitantly.

Concurrent administration of dyphylline and probenecid, which competes for tubular secretion, has been shown to increase the plasma half-life of dyphylline (see Clinical PHARMACOLOGY ).

Warnings & Precautions


LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) is not indicated in the management of status asthmaticus, which is a serious medical emergency.

Although the relationship between plasma levels of dyphylline and appearance of toxicity is unknown, excessive doses may be expected to be associated with an increased risk of adverse effects.


General:   Use LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) with caution in patients with severe cardiac disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, acute myocardial injury, or peptic ulcer.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility:   No long-term animal studies have been performed with LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) .

Pregnancy:   Teratogenic effects Pregnancy Category C. Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) . It is also not known if LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Nursing mothers:   Dyphylline is present in human milk at approximately twice the maternal plasma concentration. Caution should be exercised when LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric use:   Safety and effectiveness in children have not been established.

Geriatric Use: Clinical studies of LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) did not include sufficient numbers of subjects age 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy

Overdose & Contraindications


There have been no reports, in the literature, of overdosage with LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) . However, the following information based on reports of theophylline overdosage are considered typical of the xanthine class of drugs and should be kept in mind.

Signs and symptoms:   Restlessness, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, irritability, and headache. Marked overdosage with resulting severe toxicity has produced agitation, severe vomiting, dehydration, excessive thirst, tinnitus, cardiac arrhythmias, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, and generalized clonic and tonic convulsions. Cardiovascular collapse has also occurred, with some fatalities. Seizures have occurred in some cases associated with very high theophylline plasma concentrations, without any premonitory symptoms of toxicity.

Treatment:   There is no specific antidote for overdosage with drugs of the xanthine class. Symptomatic treatment and general supportive measures should be instituted with careful monitoring and maintenance of vital signs, fluids, and electrolytes. The stomach should be emptied by inducing emesis if the patient is conscious and responsive, or by gastric lavage, taking care to protect against aspiration, especially in stuporous or comatose patients. Maintenance of an adequate airway is essential in case oxygen or assisted respiration is needed. Sympathomimetic agents should be avoided but sedatives such as short-acting barbiturates may be useful.

Dyphylline is dialyzable and, although not recommended as a routine procedure in overdosage cases, hemodialysis may be of some benefit when severe intoxication is present or when the patient has not responded to general supportive and symptomatic treatment.


Hypersensitivity to dyphylline or related xanthine compounds.

Clinical Pharmacology


Dyphylline is a xanthine derivative with pharmacologic actions similar to theophylline and other members of this class of drugs. Its primary action is that of bronchodilation, but it also exhibits peripheral vasodilatory and other smooth muscle relaxant activity to a lesser degree. The bronchodilatory action of dyphylline, as with other xanthines, is thought to be mediated through competitive inhibition of phosphodiesterase with a resulting increase in cyclic AMP producing relaxation of bronchial smooth muscle.

LUFYLLIN (dyphylline) is well tolerated and produces less nausea than aminophylline and other alkaline theophylline compounds when administered orally. Unlike the hydrolyzable salts of theophylline, dyphylline is not converted to free theophylline in vivo. It is absorbed rapidly in therapeutically active form and in healthy volunteers reaches a mean peak plasma concentration of 17.1 mcg/mL in approximately 45 minutes following a single oral dose of 1000 mg of LUFYLLIN.

Dyphylline exerts its bronchodilatory effects directly and, unlike theophylline, is excreted unchanged by the kidneys without being metabolized by the liver. Because of this, dyphylline pharmacokinetics and plasma levels are not influenced by various factors that affect liver function and hepatic enzyme activity, such as smoking, age, congestive heart failure, or concomitant use of drugs which affect liver function.

The elimination half-life of dyphylline is approximately two hours (1.8-2.1 hr) and approximately 88% of a single oral dose can be recovered from the urine unchanged. The renal clearance would be correspondingly reduced in patients with impaired renal function. In anuric patients, the half-life may be increased 3 to 4 times normal.

Dyphylline plasma levels are dose-related and generally predictable. The range of plasma levels within which dyphylline can be expected to produce effective bronchodilation has not been determined.

Dyphylline plasma concentrations can be accurately determined using high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) * or gas-liquid chromatography (GLC).

* See Valia, et al., J. Chromatogr. 221 : 170 (1980). Small quantities of pure dyphylline powder may be obtained from Wallace Laboratories, Cranbury, N.J. The internal standard, (beta)-hydroxyethyl-theophylline, may be obtained from companies supplying analytical chemicals.


Medication Guide


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