Terbutaline Injection 

(ter byoo' ta leen)

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Terbutaline injection is sometimes used to stop or prevent premature labor in pregnant women, however, it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this purpose. Terbutaline injection should only be given to women who are in a hospital and should not be used to treat premature labor for longer than 48 to 72 hours. Terbutaline has caused serious side effects, including death, in pregnant women who took the medication for this purpose. Terbutaline has also caused serious side effects in newborns whose mothers took the medication to stop or prevent labor.

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Terbutaline injection is used to treat wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness caused by asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. Terbutaline is in a class of medications called beta agonists. It works by relaxing and opening the airways, making it easier to breathe.

HOW should this medicine be used?

Terbutaline injection comes as a solution (liquid) to inject under the skin. It is usually given by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility when needed to treat symptoms of asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema. If the symptoms do not improve within 15 to 30 minutes after the first dose, another dose may be given. If the symptoms do not improve within 15 to 30 minutes after the second dose, a different treatment should be used.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

Terbutaline injection is also sometimes used for a short period of time (less than 48 to 72 hours) to treat premature labor in pregnant women who are in a hospital. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before receiving terbutaline injection,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to terbutaline, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in terbutaline injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), carteolol (Cartrol), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), sotalol (Betapace), and timolol (Blocadren); certain diuretics ('water pills'); other medications for asthma; and medications for colds, appetite control, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Also tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications or if you have stopped taking them in the past 2 weeks: tricyclic antidepressants including amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin, imipramine (Tofranil), maprotiline, nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had an irregular heartbeat, heart disease, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid gland, diabetes, or seizures.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using terbutaline injection, call your doctor.

What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Terbutaline injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • headache

• nausea

  • vomiting
  • sweating
  • flushing (feeling of warmth)
  • pain at the injection site

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • increased difficulty breathing
  • tightening of the throat
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • seizures

Terbutaline injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

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 OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about terbutaline injection.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names
  • Brethine®[¶]
  • Bricanyl®[¶]
  • Also available generically

This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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