Taking Terbutaline Safely

Some Precautions and Warnings With Terbutaline

Following are some warnings and precautions to be aware of with terbutaline:
  • Terbutaline can have a stimulatory effect on the heart and blood pressure. A fast heart rate (tachycardia), high blood pressure (hypertension), and irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) may occur -- though low blood pressure (hypotension) is also possible. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, make sure that your healthcare provider is aware of it. He or she may wish to use particular caution if he or she recommends terbutaline in your case.
  • People with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, or epilepsy should use caution when taking terbutaline, as terbutaline may worsen these conditions or increase the risk of side effects.
  • Terbutaline is not a fast-acting asthma medication and cannot replace fast-acting rescue inhalers. Do not use terbutaline to treat an asthma attack. Everyone taking terbutaline for asthma should also have a rescue asthma medication available at all times. Let your healthcare provider know if you need to use your rescue inhaler more frequently than usual, as this may be a sign of worsening asthma.
  • Terbutaline can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Terbutaline).
  • Terbutaline has been used to treat and prevent preterm labor during pregnancy (it is not approved for this use). There are significant risks associated with this use. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using terbutaline during pregnancy (see Terbutaline and Pregnancy and Terbutaline and Preterm Labor for more information).


  • It is not known if terbutaline passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using terbutaline (see Terbutaline and Breastfeeding for more information).
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