November 27, 2015
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Terbutaline Sulfate

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Terbutaline Sulfate

Terbutaline Sulfate Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 8/19/2015

Terbutaline Sulfate Injection is a beta-adrenergic receptor agonist used for the prevention and reversal of bronchospasm in patients 12 years of age and older with asthma and reversible bronchospasm associated with bronchitis and emphysema. Terbutaline sulfate injection is available in generic form only. Brand names Brethine, Bricanyl, Brethaire are no longer available in the U.S. Common side effects of terbutaline sulfate injection include tremor, nervousness, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, palpitations, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, nausea/vomiting, weakness, flushed feeling, sweating, and pain at injection site.

The usual subcutaneous dose of Terbutaline Sulfate injection is 0.25 mg. The total dose within 4 hours should not exceed 0.5 mg. Terbutaline Sulfate may interact with antidepressants, beta-blockers, and diuretics (water pills). Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. Terbutaline Sulfate should be used during pregnancy only if prescribed. It is unknown whether this drug is passed in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Our Terbutaline Sulfate Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Terbutaline Sulfate FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


Adverse reactions observed with terbutaline are similar to those commonly seen with other sympathomimetic agents. All these reactions are transient in nature and usually do not require treatment.

The following table compares adverse reactions seen in patients treated with terbutaline sulfate injection (0.25 mg and 0.5 mg), with those seen in patients treated with epinephrine injection (0.25 mg and 0.5 mg), during eight double-blind crossover studies involving a total of 214 patients.

Incidence (%) of Adverse Reactions

  Terbutaline (%) Epinephrine (%)
0.25 mg 0.5 mg 0.25 mg 0.5 mg
N=77 N=205 N=153 N=61
Central Nervous System
  Tremor 7.8 38.0 16.3 18.0
  Nervousness 16.9 30.7 8.5 31.1
  Dizziness 1.3 10.2 7.8 3.3
  Headache 7.8 8.8 3.3 9.8
  Drowsiness 11.7 9.8 14.4 8.2
  Palpitations 7.8 22.9 7.8 29.5
  Tachycardia 1.3 1.5 2.6 0.0
  Dyspnea 0.0 2.0 2.0 0.0
  Chest discomfort 1.3 1.5 2.6 0.0
  Nausea/vomiting 1.3 3.9 1.3 11.5
  Weakness 1.3 0.5 2.6 1.6
  Flushed feeling 0.0 2.4 1.3 0.0
  Sweating 0.0 2.4 0.0 0.0
  Pain at injection site 2.6 0.5 2.6 1.6
Note: Some patients received more than one dosage strength of terbutaline sulfate and epinephrine. In addition, there were reports of anxiety, muscle cramps, and dry mouth ( < 0.5%). There have been rare reports of elevations in liver enzymes and of hypersensitivity vasculitis with terbutaline administration.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Terbutaline Sulfate (Terbutaline Sulfate)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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