netFormulary NHS
Milton Keynes Formulary
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group
Milton Keynes Community Health Services
 Formulary Chapter 3: Respiratory system - Full Chapter

Local Respiratory Guidelines & Resources for use in MK:


Patient Counselling Resource:

  • RightBreathe is a useful website and application about inhaler devices launched in February 2017. It has significant MI input and collaboration between multidisciplinary healthcare professionals.
  • RightBreathe covers each and every inhaler and spacer device licensed in the UK for treating asthma and COPD. It presents specific, tailored information on each option in a standardised format and with assured quality.
  • RightBreathe enables clinicians and patients to search and filter the options to suit individual circumstances and patients’ needs.
Chapter Links...
03.01.03  Expand sub section  Theophylline
Aminophylline (Phyllocontin Continus)
View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF

Modified release tablets 225mg 

Aminophylline IV
View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF

Injection 250mg/10mL Min-I-Jet (Hospital only)

Link  UKMI Q&A: Conversion of IV aminophylline dose to oral aminophylline or theophylline
Theophylline (Uniphyllin Continus)
View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF

Uniphyllin Continus® Modified release tablets 200mg, 300mg, 400mg

(Note: Slo-Phyllin® Modified release capsules of all strengths have been discontinued by the manufacturer. Further details can be found here.)

(Nuelin SA® Modified release tablets 175mg, 250mg have also been discontinued by the manufacturer.)



Theophylline is seldom used, but may be used for severe asthma and COPD. Initiate therapy on a low dose and increase slowly if there is no therapeutic response.

Theophylline has a narrow margin between therapeutic and toxic dose and must be monitored closely with frequent blood tests. The therapeutic range for theophylline is 10-20mg/litre.


  • Initiation of IV therapy: 4-6 hours
  • Subsequent levels for IV therapy: every 24 hours
  • Initiation of oral therapy: 2-4 days
  • Change of IV dose: 12-24 hours later
  • Change of oral dose: 2-4 days


  • The half-life is increased (giving higher theophylline levels) in heart failure, cirrhosis, and viral infections, in the elderly and by drugs such as cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, fluvoxamine, diltiazem, verapamil and oral contraceptives. The half-life is decreased (giving lower theophylline levels) in smokers, and in chronic alcoholism, and by drugs such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampicin and barbiturates.
  • Modified release preparations of theophylline should be prescribed by brand name. Prescribers should not interchange brands of theophylline due to the differences in bioavailability.
  • Slo-phyllin® capsules can be opened and the granules sprinkled on soft food prior to administration.
  • Vomiting may indicate a toxic dose.
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
click to search
Link to adult BNF
click to search
Link to children's BNF
click to search
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


Routine prescribing within licensed indication  

Amber 1

Specialist recommendation followed by GP initiation and continuation  

Amber 2

Specialist or GP initiation in line with local guideline after 1st line failure followed by GP continuation   

Amber 3

Specialist initiation and stabilisation followed by GP continuation  

Amber SCG

Specialist initiation and stabilisation followed by GP continuation in line with an agreed shared care guideline  


Hospital or specialist prescribing only  

Red Red

These medicines have been evaluated and rejected by MKPAG and are NOT approved for use within MK. They are not recommended for use because of lack of clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness or safety.