Generic Name: Terbutaline

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Terbutaline is a medicine used to treat airway narrowing associated with asthma, bronchitis (inflammation of the air passages within the lungs), and emphysema (lung disease that causes shortness of breath). Terbutaline is also used to prevent airway narrowing in people with asthma.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Terbutaline works by relaxing the muscles in your airways.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Terbutaline has been shown to improve lung function, thereby decreasing resistance in your airways and making it easier to breathe.

    When: Terbutaline may start working within 30 minutes, and symptom relief may last up to 6 hours or longer.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may feel an improvement in your breathing once you begin taking terbutaline. Your healthcare provider may perform tests to check your lung function and ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Do not take terbutaline to prevent uterine contractions and delay labor. Serious and potentially life-threatening effects, including increased heart rate, high blood sugars, a life-threatening irregular heartbeat, a buildup of fluid in your lungs, or a heart attack may occur if terbutaline is taken by a pregnant woman. Your unborn baby may also experience increased heart rate and low blood sugars.

    More common side effects may include: nervousness, shaking.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Effects on your heart, including changes in your heart rate or blood pressure.

    Sudden allergic reactions and breathing problems right after taking terbutaline.

    Terbutaline may also cause low blood potassium levels or seizures.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take terbutaline if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take terbutaline to prevent uterine contractions and delay labor.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with terbutaline. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart or thyroid problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, or seizures.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The usual dose is 5 milligrams (mg) three times a day (every 6 hours), during the hours you are awake. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed.

    Children 12-15 years: The recommended dose is 2.5 mg three times a day.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take terbutaline exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking terbutaline without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    If you notice that treatment with terbutaline is no longer relieving your symptoms, your symptoms become worse, or you need to use terbutaline more often than usual, contact your healthcare provider right away.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Terbutaline should not be used to prevent uterine contractions and delay labor.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If terbutaline is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining terbutaline with the following: blood pressure/heart medications known as beta-blockers (such as metoprolol or propranolol), certain antidepressant medications (such as amitriptyline or phenelzine), medicines that affect your blood pressure or heart rate (such as pseudoephedrine), or water pills (such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide).

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of terbutaline during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of terbutaline, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.