Risks of Treating Preterm Labor With Terbutaline

Risks of Treating Preterm Labor with Terbutaline

The manufacturer of terbutaline specifically warns that it should not be used for preterm labor. Using terbutaline is not without risks. The following side effects may occur in the mother:
 
  • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
  • Decreased blood flow to the heart
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • A rapid heart rate (tachycardia).
     
Among the side effects that may occur in the infant are:
 
  • A rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • High insulin levels
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Decreased blood flow to the heart
  • Other heart problems.

 

There have been reports of very serious problems, including death, in women who were treated with terbutaline for preterm labor. 

 

Final Thoughts

Terbutaline is one option for treating preterm labor. It can provide enough time to ensure that the premature infant's lungs develop properly. However, it is not without risk, and is not approved for this use. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about terbutaline and preterm labor in your particular situation. Together, you can weigh the potential risks and benefits.
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