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Terbutaline is a bronchodilator that treats symptoms associated with asthmabronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.

Pronunciation: ter-BUE-ta-leen

What are terbutaline’s uses?

Terbutaline helps treat or prevent symptoms caused by asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema by opening the air tubes of the lungs, allowing for easier airflow.

It comes in the following forms for inhalation: aerosol, powder and capsules.

What dosage should you take?

An average adult dosage is 0.5mg when required, with a maximum dosage of 2mg daily. Children will need a reduced dosage according to their age and weight, so check the correct dosages with your Clicks pharmacist.

What special precautions should you take?

  • A reduced dosage may be needed when the elderly are being treated.
  • Terbutaline can cause hand tremors so first learn how you react to its use before driving or doing other potentially hazardous activities like operating machinery.
  • During pregnancy or breastfeeding, ensure you speak to your doctor or Clicks pharmacist about its safety before using it.
  • If after taking terbutaline your breathing problems do not improve or they get worse, contact your doctor.

Terbutaline should be used with caution, if not avoided completely, if you suffer from the following conditions, so speak to your doctor or Clicks pharmacist first before use:

What drug interactions could you experience?

As a rule, always inform your doctor or Clicks pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take to ensure you don’t suffer the effects of adverse drug interactions.

What are terbutaline’s side effects?

Common side effects could include:

  • Muscle tremors, especially in the hands
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

This is not a complete list of side effects. It’s essential that you call your doctor should you notice any severe or odd side effects.

What are the overdose symptoms?

Call a doctor or the ambulance immediately if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • A severe allergic reaction including difficulty breathing, hives, rash, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue, itching
  • Hallucinations
The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in August 2015