Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
DONATE Donate
SHARE TEXT

terbutaline (oral)

Pronunciation: ter BYOO ta leen

Brand: Brethine, Bricanyl

Brethine 5 mg

round, white, imprinted with GEIGY 105

Image of Brethine 5 mg
slide 1 of 3
    

Terbutaline 2.5 mg-GLO

oval, white, imprinted with G, 2611

Image of Terbutaline 2.5 mg-GLO
slide 2 of 3
    

Terbutaline 5 mg-GLO

round, white, imprinted with G, 2622

Image of Terbutaline 5 mg-GLO
slide 3 of 3
    

What is the most important information I should know about terbutaline?

Seek medical attention if you notice that you require more than your usual or more than the maximum amount of any asthma medication in a 24-hour period. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

What is terbutaline?

Terbutaline is a bronchodilator. Terbutaline works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing.

Terbutaline is used to treat bronchospasm (wheezing, shortness of breath) associated with lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

Terbutaline may also be used for conditions other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking terbutaline?

Before taking terbutaline, tell your doctor if you have

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;
  • epilepsy or another seizure disorder;
  • diabetes;
  • an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism);
  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

You may not be able to take terbutaline or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Multum nopreg

Terbutaline is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that terbutaline is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take terbutaline without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Multum nobrfeed

Terbutaline passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take terbutaline without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take terbutaline?

Take terbutaline exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Multum water

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

It is important to take terbutaline regularly to get the most benefit.

Multum donot

Do not take terbutaline more often or in larger doses than is prescribed by your doctor. Taking more medication than is prescribed could be dangerous. Seek medical attention if you notice that you require more than your usual or more than the maximum amount of any asthma medication in a 24-hour period. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

Your doctor may want you to have lung function tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with terbutaline to monitor progress and side effects.

Multum rt

Store terbutaline at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a terbutaline overdose may include angina or chest pain, irregular heartbeats or a fluttering heart, seizures, tremor, weakness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking terbutaline?

Avoid situations that may worsen your respiratory condition such as exercising in cold, dry air; smoking; breathing in dust; and exposure to allergens such as pet fur.

What are the possible side effects of terbutaline?

Multum emt

Stop taking terbutaline and seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following serious side effects:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or
  • chest pain or irregular heartbeats.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take terbutaline and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • headache;
  • dizziness or lightheadedness;
  • insomnia;
  • tremor or nervousness;
  • sweating;
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; or
  • dry mouth.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect terbutaline?

Before taking terbutaline, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), propranolol (Inderal), acebutolol (Sectral), bisoprolol (Zebeta), carteolol (Cartrol), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), nadolol (Corgard), or pindolol (Visken);
  • a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), or protriptyline (Vivactil);
  • a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);
  • another oral or inhaled bronchodilator; or
  • caffeine, diet pills, or decongestants.

You may not be able to take terbutaline, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medications listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with terbutaline or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has additional information about terbutaline written for health professionals that you may read.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2013 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision date: 12/15/2010.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read, understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.