Theophylline, like caffeine, is one of the naturally occurring methylxanthines. The main use of theophyllines in clinical medicine is as a bronchodilator in the management of asthma and COPD

Mechanism of action

The exact mechanism of action has yet to be discovered. One theory suggests theophyllines may be a non-specific inhibitor of phosphodiesterase resulting in an increase in cAMP. Other proposed mechanisms include antagonism of adenosine and prostaglandin inhibition