Generic Medicine Info
Indications and Dosage
Acute bronchospasm
Adult: As metered-dose powd inhaler: 250-500 mcg as required. Max: 2,000 mcg daily.

Severe bronchospasm
Adult: As 1% nebuliser soln: 2.5-10 mg 2-4 times daily.
Child: <25 kg: 2-5 mg 2-4 times daily; ≥25 kg: 5 mg 2-4 times daily.

Uncomplicated premature labour
Adult: To arrest labour between 22-37 wk of gestation: Initially, 5 mcg/min, w/ increments of 2.5 mcg/min at 20 min intervals until contractions stop. Max: 20 mcg/min. Continue for 1 hr after contractions have ceased, then decrease by 2.5 mcg/min every 20 min to lowest dose that maintains suppression. Max duration: 48 hr.

Acute bronchospasm
Adult: Initially, 2.5 mg or 3 mg tid, up to 5 mg tid as necessary. As modified-release tab: 5 mg or 7.5 mg bid.
Child: <12 yr Initially, 0.05 mg/kg/dose tid, increase gradually as required. Max: 5 mg/day; 12-15 yr 2.5 mg tid; >15 yr Same as adult dose.

Severe bronchospasm
Adult: 250-500 mcg up to 4 times daily by SC, IM or IV inj, or by IV infusion as a soln containing 3-5 mcg/mL at a rate of 0.5-1 mL/min.
Child: 2-15 yr 0.01 mg/kg. Max: 0.3 mg/dose.
May be taken with or without food.
Add 10 mL of terbutaline soln for inj to 40 mL of dextrose 5% if using a syringe pump or to 490 mL of dextrose 5% if syringe pump is not available.
Parenteral: Prolonged (beyond 48-72 hr) or maintenance tocolysis, particularly in outpatient or home setting. PO: Acute or maintenance tocolysis.
Special Precautions
Patient w/ thyrotoxicosis, HTN, DM, ketoacidosis, CV disorders (e.g. ischaemic heart disease), convulsive disorders, coronary insufficiency or associated arrhythmias. Childn. Pregnancy and lactation.
Adverse Reactions
Tachycardia, nervousness, tremor, palpitations, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, restlessness, lethargy, drowsiness, weakness, flushes, sweating, chest discomfort, muscle cramps, tinnitus. Rarely, seizures, hypersensitivity vasculitis, elevated liver enzymes.
Potentially Fatal: Increased heart rate, transient hyperglycaemia, hypokalaemia, cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary oedema, myocardial ischaemia.
Inhalation/Respiratory/IV/Parenteral/PO/SC: C
Monitoring Parameters
Monitor cardiorespiratory function, serum K and glucose levels; signs/symptoms of pulmonary oedema (when used in premature labour).
Symptoms: Headache, anxiety, tremor, nausea, tonic cramps, palpitations, tachycardia, arrhythmia; hypotension, hypokalaemia, hyperglycaemia and lactic acidosis may occur. Management: Reduce dose in mild to moderate cases. In severe cases, perform necessary tests to determine acid-base balance, blood sugar and electrolyte levels. Monitor BP, heart rate and rhythm and correct metabolic changes. A cardioselective β-blocker (e.g. metoprolol) may be given for the treatment of arrhythmias but w/ caution.
Drug Interactions
Increased risk of haemorrhage and serious ventricular rhythm disorder w/ halogenated anaesth. May reduce the effect of anti-diabetic drugs. Increased risk of hypokalaemia w/ K-depleting agents (e.g. diuretics). Concomitant β-agonist and corticosteroid may result to pulmonary oedema. May partially or totally inhibit the effect of non-selective β-blockers.
Mechanism of Action: Terbutaline stimulates intracellular adenyl cyclase, the enzyme that catalyses the conversion of ATP to cyclic-3', 5'-adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) resulting in relaxation of bronchial smooth muscle and inhibition of release of mediators of immediate hypersensitivity from mast cells.
Onset: W/in 5 min (inhalation); 30-45 min (oral); 6-15 min (SC).
Duration: 6 hr (inhalation); 8 hr (oral).
Absorption: Variably absorbed from the GI tract; absorbed from the airways (<10%). Bioavailability: Approx 14-15% (oral). Time to peak plasma concentration: 1-4 hr.
Distribution: Crosses the placenta and enters breast milk (trace amounts). Plasma protein binding: 25%.
Metabolism: Undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism via sulfate and some glucoronide conjugation in the liver and the gut wall.
Excretion: Via urine and faeces as inactive sulfate conjugate and unchanged drug. Terminal half-life: 16-20 hr.
Chemical Structure

Chemical Structure Image

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. Terbutaline, CID=5403, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Terbutaline (accessed on Jan. 23, 2020)

Store between 20-25°C. Protect from light.
MIMS Class
Antiasthmatic & COPD Preparations / Drugs Acting on the Uterus
ATC Classification
R03CC03 - terbutaline ; Belongs to the class of adrenergics for systemic use, selective beta-2-adrenoreceptor agonists. Used in the treatment of obstructive airway diseases.
R03AC03 - terbutaline ; Belongs to the class of adrenergic inhalants, selective beta-2-adrenoreceptor agonists. Used in the treatment of obstructive airway diseases.
Anon. Terbutaline. Lexicomp Online. Hudson, Ohio. Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. https://online.lexi.com. Accessed 15/07/2015.

Buckingham R (ed). Terbutaline Sulfate. Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference [online]. London. Pharmaceutical Press. https://www.medicinescomplete.com. Accessed 15/07/2015.

McEvoy GK, Snow EK, Miller J et al (eds). Terbutaline Sulfate. AHFS Drug Information (AHFS DI) [online]. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). https://www.medicinescomplete.com. Accessed 15/07/2015.

Terbutaline Sulfate Tablet (Marlex Pharmaceuticals Inc). DailyMed. Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/. Accessed 15/07/2015.

Disclaimer: This information is independently developed by MIMS based on Terbutaline from various references and is provided for your reference only. Therapeutic uses, prescribing information and product availability may vary between countries. Please refer to MIMS Product Monographs for specific and locally approved prescribing information. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, MIMS shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2024 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com
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