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Why is this medication prescribed?

Terbutaline are prescribed for several medical conditions, primarily for the treatment of asthma and certain breathing disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Terbutaline belongs to a class of medications known as beta-2 adrenergic agonists. It works by relaxing the muscles in the airways, which helps to open up the air passages and make breathing easier.

Here are some common uses for terbutaline:

  • Asthma: Terbutaline is often prescribed as a bronchodilator to relieve symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Terbutaline may be used to alleviate symptoms of COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • Preterm labor: In some cases, terbutaline may be prescribed to delay preterm labor by relaxing the uterine muscles. However, this usage is less common and often requires close monitoring by healthcare professionals.

How should this medicine be used?

Here are some general guidelines for using terbutaline:

  • Follow the prescription: Take terbutaline tablets exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less than the recommended dose, and do not stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
  • Swallow whole: Take the tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet, as this may alter its effectiveness or cause side effects.
  • Dosage: The dosage of terbutaline varies depending on the condition being treated and the individual’s response to the medication. Your doctor will determine the appropriate dosage for you.
  • Regular use: Take terbutaline regularly as prescribed, even if you do not have symptoms. Do not use it to relieve sudden breathing problems (acute bronchospasm); instead, use a rescue inhaler as directed by your doctor.
  • Monitor for side effects: Be aware of potential side effects of terbutaline, such as tremors, palpitations, dizziness, headache, nausea, and nervousness. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Avoid alcohol and certain medications: Avoid consuming alcohol while taking terbutaline, as it may increase the risk of side effects. Additionally, inform your doctor about all other medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with terbutaline.

Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice regarding the use of terbutaline and any other medications.

Other uses for this medicine

Some of these off-label uses may include:

  • Bronchospasm prophylaxis: Terbutaline may be used to prevent bronchospasm triggered by exercise or allergen exposure in certain individuals.
  • Bronchiolitis: Terbutaline may be used off-label in some cases of bronchiolitis, particularly in infants and young children, to help relieve symptoms such as wheezing and difficulty breathing.
  • Reversible airway obstruction: Terbutaline may be used to help manage reversible airway obstruction in conditions such as bronchitis or bronchiectasis.
  • Status asthmaticus: In severe cases of asthma exacerbation that do not respond to standard treatments, terbutaline may be used as an adjunct therapy to help improve airway function.

What special precautions should I follow?

When taking terbutaline, there are several special precautions to keep in mind:

  • Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have any allergies to terbutaline or any other medications. Terbutaline may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
  • Medical history: Provide your doctor with a comprehensive medical history, especially if you have a history of heart problems (such as heart rhythm disorders), high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disorders, seizures, or liver disease.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks and benefits of using terbutaline with your doctor. While terbutaline may be used to delay preterm labor, it should be used cautiously during pregnancy and only when clearly needed.
  • Drug interactions: Inform your doctor about all other medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with terbutaline and affect its effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects.
  • Cardiovascular effects: Terbutaline may cause cardiovascular side effects such as palpitations, increased heart rate, and changes in blood pressure. Use caution when taking terbutaline if you have a history of heart problems or if you are taking other medications that can affect the heart.
  • Monitoring: Your doctor may need to monitor your lung function, heart rate, blood pressure, and electrolyte levels regularly while you are taking terbutaline to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and recommendations when taking terbutaline , and contact them if you have any questions or concerns about its use or potential side effects.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with terbutaline. However, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet and stay well-hydrated, especially if you experience any side effects like increased heart rate or sweating. Avoid excessive consumption of stimulants like caffeine, as they may exacerbate certain side effects of terbutaline.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of terbutaline, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. Taking too much terbutaline can increase the risk of side effects. If you have any concerns about missed doses or dosing instructions, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Terbutaline, like any medication, can cause side effects in some individuals. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and their severity can vary from person to person. Common side effects of terbutaline may include:

  • Tremors: Shaking or trembling of the hands or other parts of the body.
  • Nervousness: Feeling anxious, jittery, or restless.
  • Headache: Mild to moderate headaches may occur.
  • Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or unsteady.
  • Palpitations: Awareness of the heart beating rapidly or irregularly.
  • Increased heart rate: Terbutaline can cause tachycardia, or a faster-than-normal heart rate.
  • Muscle cramps: Uncomfortable tightening or spasms of muscles, particularly in the legs.
  • Nausea: Feeling sick to the stomach or experiencing mild stomach discomfort.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Dry mouth or throat: Reduced saliva production leading to a dry sensation in the mouth or throat.
  • Sweating: Increased sweating, particularly of the palms or underarms.
  • Difficulty breathing: Although terbutaline is primarily used to relieve breathing difficulties, paradoxical bronchospasm (worsening of breathing) can occur in some individuals.
  • Hypokalemia: Low levels of potassium in the blood, which can cause weakness, muscle cramps, and irregular heart rhythms.
  • Hyperglycemia: Elevated blood sugar levels, especially in individuals with diabetes.
  • Hypotension: Low blood pressure, leading to symptoms such as dizziness or fainting.

It’s essential to discuss any side effects you experience with your healthcare provider, especially if they are severe, persistent, or concerning. In some cases, your doctor may adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication if the side effects are intolerable.

Additionally, seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of a serious allergic reaction to terbutaline, including rash, itching or swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of terbutaline:


  • Store terbutaline at room temperature away from light and moisture.
  • Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not store terbutaline in the bathroom or near the kitchen sink where it might get damp or wet.
  • Follow any specific storage instructions provided by your pharmacist or healthcare provider.


  • Dispose of unused or expired terbutaline properly according to local regulations or guidelines.
  • Do not flush terbutaline down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless instructed to do so by your pharmacist or local waste disposal authority.
  • Consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information on how to safely dispose of terbutaline.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an overdose or emergency, such as severe symptoms of terbutaline overdose (e.g., chest pain, irregular heartbeats, seizures, severe dizziness), call emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
  • If possible, bring the terbutaline medication packaging or container with you to the emergency room to assist medical personnel in providing appropriate treatment.
  • Do not attempt to treat an overdose or emergency situation on your own without medical guidance.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they may interact with terbutaline.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring of your condition and response to terbutaline treatment.
  • Avoid sudden discontinuation of terbutaline without consulting your healthcare provider, as this may lead to worsening of symptoms.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about terbutaline, including their use, side effects, or storage, consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider for guidance.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safe and effective use of terbutaline  while minimizing the risk of adverse events or complications.

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