Is there a role for theophylline in treating patients with asthma?
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With adults, oral theophylline may help lower the dosage of inhaled steroids needed to control chronic asthma. It offers no benefit for acute asthma exacerbations. For children, intravenous aminophylline may improve the clinical course of severe asthma attacks. Side effects and toxicity limit use of these medications in most settings. (Grade of recommendation: A, based on systematic reviews and randomized control trials [RCTs]).