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Deriphyllin Side Effects

author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Deriphyllin Side Effects
Deriphyllin is used to treat breathing problems associated with lung diseases or infections. Photo Credit thorax x-ray of the lungs image by JoLin from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Deriphyllin is the brand name for the generic drug theophylline. This medication is indicated to help treat and prevent lung disease symptoms, such as shortness of breath or wheezing. Deriphyllin is a type of bronchodilator that works by relaxing the muscles of the airway, allowing oxygen to flow into the lungs more easily. As of 2010, Deriphyllin is not marketed within the United States, but is available in other regions of the world.

Upset Stomach

The active ingredient in Deriphyllin--theophylline--mimics the action of caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant, within the body. Consequently, patients who take this medication can experience caffeine-like side effects, such as upset stomach, nausea or vomiting, according to RxList. Patients who develop stomach upset side effects can also experience a temporary decrease in appetite. Stomach-related side effects associated with Deriphyllin are typically mild, but can recur with subsequent dosing.

Restlessness or Difficulty Sleeping

Patients treated with Deriphyllin can experience unusual behavioral changes, such as restlessness or irritability, according to Drugs.com. Sensations of restlessness can interfere with a patient's ability to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night, a side effect referred to as insomnia. Patients who experience confusion or sleeplessness while taking Deriphyllin should seek additional care from a medical professional.


Use of Deriphyllin can result in headaches in certain people, according to MedlinePlus. Head pain is typically mild and can occur within any region of the head. If headache side effects are bothersome, affected patients may take an over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate symptoms. Headache side effects that occur in conjunction with dizziness or confusion can indicate a severe reaction to this medication, warns Drugs.com. Affected patients should seek prompt medical care.

Increased Urination

A temporary increase in urination frequency or volume, called diuresis, can occur as a side effect of Deriphyllin treatment, according to RxList. While this side effect can be annoying, it typically resolves with continued use of Deriphyllin.

Heart Rate Abnormalities

Heart rate abnormalities can arise as a side effect of Driphyllin use in patients, explains PDRHealth. Affected patients can notice that their heart rate is faster than normal, which can exacerbate sensations of restlessness or lightheadedness. Any heart-related changes or abnormalities that occur while a patient is taking Deriphyllin should be immediately discussed with a physician.


Rarely, patients taking Deriphyllin can experience involuntary muscle spasms or seizures during treatment, explains MedlinePlus. Patients who develop this severe side effect of Deriphyllin require prompt medical attention.

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