Major Uses

Aminophylline is used to treat bronchitis and other airway disorders, like asthma, in dogs, cats, and horses. It is in a drug class known as bronchodilators, which open up the lungs and airways to make breathing easier. The drug offers relief by relaxing the smooth muscles in the airways that have constricted and obstructed air flow into the lungs. Aminophylline has also been used to act as a stimulant in heart failure.

Common Precautions

Possible side effects that may occur are anxiety, nervousness, and an increase in thirst and urine. Mild gastrointestinal problems may also arise, like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Most of the side effects should subside or disappear after a short period of time. A pet's veterinarian should be contacted if these symptoms persist. Aminophylline should be used with caution in pets with liver or kidney disease, as well as in pregnant animals.

Before aminophylline is prescribed, the pet's veterinarian should be aware of all other drugs the animal is currently taking. Possible drug interactions can occur.

Aminophylline should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Signs of an overdose may include seizures, cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), and fever. If these symptoms occur, the pet's veterinarian should be contacted, or emergency veterinary care needs to be sought.


Aminophylline tablets should be stored at room temperature and protected from extreme heat and cold. The container should be tight, light resistant, and childproof. Suspension forms are to be refrigerated, however, manufacturer specifications should be followed closely.


Aminophylline is available in 100 mg and 200 mg tablets and in the injectable form. The injections can be administered either intravenously (IV) or intramuscularly (IM). The intramuscular injection can cause an animal extreme pain. A typical dose of aminophylline for dogs is 3-5 mg/lb (6-11 mg/kg) every 8 hours by mouth, IV, or IM, and the typical dose for a cat is 2 mg/lb (5 mg/kg) every 12 hours by mouth. For horses, 6 mg/lb (12 mg/kg) is the initial dose, followed by 2 mg/lb (5 mg/kg) every 12 hours by mouth. Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

If a dose is missed, it should be given as soon as possible. However, it is recommended to skip the missed dose if it is almost time for the next dose. The regular schedule of administration should continue, and two doses should not be given at once.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.