terbutaline sulfate

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terbutaline sulfate


Pharmacologic class: Selective beta2-adrenergic receptor agonist

Therapeutic class: Bronchodilator

Pregnancy risk category B


Relaxes bronchial smooth muscle by stimulating beta2-adrenergic receptors; inhibits release of hypersensitivity mediators, especially from mast cells


Injection: 1 mg/ml

Tablets: 2.5 mg, 5 mg

Indications and dosages

Bronchospasm in reversible obstructive airway disease

Adults and children older than age 12: 0.25 mg subcutaneously, repeated in 15 to 30 minutes p.r.n., up to a maximum of 0.5 mg in 4 hours. Or 2.5 to 5 mg P.O. q 6 hours t.i.d. while awake, up to a maximum of 15 mg/day in adults; 2.5 mg P.O. q 6 hours t.i.d. while awake, up to a maximum of 7.5 mg/day in children.

Dosage adjustment

• Renal impairment

Off-label uses

• Tocolytic in preterm labor


• Hypersensitivity to drug, its components, or sympathomimetic amines


Use cautiously in:

• cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, arrhythmias, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, seizure disorders, glaucoma

• concurrent use of MAO inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, or beta-adrenergic blockers

• elderly patients

• breastfeeding patients.


• Inject subcutaneously into lateral deltoid.

Adverse reactions

CNS: tremors, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, stimulation

CV: palpitations, chest discomfort, tachycardia

GI: nausea, vomiting

Skin: diaphoresis, flushing


Drug-drug. Beta-adrenergic blockers: blockage of bronchodilating effect

MAO inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants: potentiation of terbutaline's adverse cardiovascular reactions

Other sympathomimetic amines: additive adverse cardiovascular reactions

Patient monitoring

• Monitor vital signs.

• Assess neurologic status.

Patient teaching

• Tell patient he may take with or without food.

• Advise patient or parents to establish effective bedtime routine to minimize insomnia.

• Instruct patient or parents to space doses evenly during waking hours, to avoid taking drug at bedtime.

• As appropriate, review all other significant adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill Nurse's Drug Handbook, 7th Ed. Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


A beta-adrenergic receptor agonist used for patients with COPD.
Asthma, bronchitis, reversible bronchospasm.
Adverse effects
Tremor, nervousness, palpitations, nausea, vomiting.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.