Generic Name: Terbutaline Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is terbutaline used for?

Terbutaline is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath from lung problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and emphysema). Controlling these symptoms can decrease time lost from work or school. Terbutaline is a bronchodilator (beta-2 receptor agonist) that works by opening breathing passages to make breathing easier.

How should I take terbutaline?

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 3 times daily or as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Adults and children older than 15 should not take more than 15 milligrams daily. Children aged 12-15 should not take more than 7.5 milligrams daily. For children under 12, follow the doctor’s directions for daily limits.

Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not take more of this medication or take it more often than recommended by your doctor. If you have been directed to use this medication on a daily schedule, use it regularly at the same times each day in order to get the most benefit from it.

If you take other asthma drugs by mouth or inhaling devices, ask your doctor about how to correctly take this medication with your other asthma medicines.

If you notice less effect than usual from this medication, if your symptoms get worse, or if you feel you need to take any of your asthma medications more often than recommended, seek immediate medical attention.

How do I store terbutaline?

Terbutaline is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store terbutaline in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of terbutaline that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush terbutaline down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using terbutaline?

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Use of terbutaline in children younger than 12 years of age is not recommended.

Geriatric

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of terbutaline in geriatric patients.

Is it safe to take terbutaline during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There isn’t enough information about the safety of using this medication during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of terbutaline?

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • chest pain, fast heart rate;
  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • tremors; or
  • worsening or no improvement in your symptoms.

Common side effects may include:

  • nervousness;
  • headache;
  • dizziness, weakness, drowsiness;
  • nausea, dry mouth;
  • tired feeling; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with terbutaline?

Terbutaline may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acebutolol
  • Atenolol
  • Befunolol
  • Betaxolol
  • Bevantolol
  • Bisoprolol
  • Bopindolol
  • Carteolol
  • Carvedilol
  • Celiprolol
  • Esmolol
  • Furazolidone
  • Insulin Degludec
  • Iobenguane I 123
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Labetalol
  • Landiolol
  • Levobunolol
  • Linezolid
  • Mepindolol
  • Methylene Blue
  • Metipranolol
  • Metoprolol
  • Moclobemide
  • Nadolol
  • Nebivolol
  • Nipradilol
  • Oxprenolol
  • Pargyline
  • Penbutolol
  • Phenelzine
  • Pindolol
  • Procarbazine
  • Propranolol
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Sotalol
  • Talinolol
  • Tertatolol
  • Timolol
  • Tranylcypromine

Does food or alcohol interact with terbutaline?

Terbutaline may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with terbutaline?

Terbutaline may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Diabetes or
  • Heart or blood vessel disease or
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., arrhythmia) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
  • Seizures—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of terbutaline for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Asthma — Maintenance:

Tablets: 5 mg orally 3 times a day at 6 hour intervals during waking hours. May decrease to 2.5 mg/dose if side effects are pronounced. Do not exceed 15 mg in 24 hours.

Inhalation aerosol: 2 inhalations separated by 60 seconds every 4 to 6 hours. Do not repeat more often than every 4 to 6 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Premature Labor:

Tablets: 2.5 to 7.5 mg orally every 6 hours. Therapy should be continued until 36 to 37 weeks gestation.

Continuous intravenous infusion: 10 to 25 mcg/min. Therapy should be continued until labor has been arrested. Maximum dose 80 mcg/min.

Subcutaneous injection: 0.25 mg every 6 hours. Subcutaneous therapy should be continued until labor has been arrested.

Usual Adult Dose for Asthma — Acute:

Inhalation aerosol: 2 inhalations separated by 60 seconds every 4 to 6 hours. Do not repeat more often than every 4 to 6 hours.

Subcutaneous Injection: 0.25 mg into the lateral deltoid area. A second 0.25 mg dose can be administered in 15 to 30 minutes if needed. Do not exceed 0.5 mg in 4 hours.

Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.08 to 6 mcg/kg/min.

What is the dose of terbutaline for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Asthma — Acute:

Subcutaneous Injection: 0.005 to 0.01 mg/kg/dose to a maximum dose of 0.4 mg every 15 to 20 minutes for 2 doses.

Nebulization: 0.01 to 0.03 mg/kg/dose with a minimum dose of 0.1 mg; maximum dose is 2.5 mg diluted with 1 to 2 mL of normal saline every 4 to 6 hours.

Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.08 to 6 mcg/kg/min.

> 12 years:

Inhalation aerosol: 2 inhalations separated by 60 seconds every 4 to 6 hours. Do not repeat more often than every 4 to 6 hours.

Subcutaneous Injection: 0.25 mg into the lateral deltoid area. A second 0.25 mg dose can be administered in 15-30 minutes if needed. Maximum dose 0.5 mg in 4 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Asthma — Maintenance:

< 12 years:

Tablets: 0.05 mg/kg/day divided into three doses. Gradually increase to 0.15 mg/kg/day. Maximum dose is 5 mg per day.

>=12 years:

Inhalation aerosol: 2 inhalations separated by 60 seconds every 4 to 6 hours. Do not repeat more often than every 4 to 6 hours.

>=12 <15 years:

Tablets: 2.5 mg orally every 6 to 8 hours. Do not exceed 7.5 mg in 24 hours

>=15 years:

Tablets: 2.5 mg to 5 mg orally every 6 to 8 hours. Do not exceed 15 mg in 24 hours.

How is terbutaline available?

Terbutaline is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Injection 1 mg/mL

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • chest pain
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • dizziness or fainting
  • nervousness
  • headache
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • excessive tiredness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • weakness
  • dry mouth
  • seizures

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of terbutaline, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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