A simply electrochemical method based on CdSe microparticles modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was developed to determine theophylline using cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry. Theophylline showed a well-defined oxidation peak at the fabricated electrode in phosphate buffer solution and the oxidation peak current is much higher than that at the bare GCE, indicating that CdSe can effectively improve the oxidation of theophylline. Several effect factors on theophylline determination were optimised, such as CdSe amount, solution pH, scan rate and accumulation time. Under the optimal conditions, the oxidation peak current of theophylline was proportional to its concentration in the range of 1.0-40 and 40-700 μM with a correlation coefficient of 0.9974 and 0.9956, respectively. The limit of detection was estimated to be 0.4 μM (S/N=3). The developed method showed good reproducibility and excellent selectivity. The fabricated electrode was successfully used to determine theophylline in tea, carbonated cola drink, fruit juice drink, fermented milk drink and preserved fruit with acceptable recovery.