Origin of theophylline
International Scientific Vocabulary theo- (from New Latin thea tea) + phyll- + 2-ine
First Known Use: circa 1894
Medical Definition of theophylline
: a feebly basic bitter crystalline compound C7H8N4O2 that is present in small amounts in tea but is prepared chiefly by synthesis, that is isomeric with theobromine, and that is used in medicine often in the form of derivatives or in combination with other drugs especially as a bronchodilator to relieve or prevent symptoms of asthma and bronchospasm associated with chronic bronchitis and emphysema
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