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Terbutaline chemical structure

IUPAC name
CAS number
ATC code

R03AC03 .

Chemical formula {{{chemical_formula}}}
Molecular weight 225.284 g/mol
Metabolism GI tract (oral), liver; CYP450: unknown
Elimination half-life urine 90% (60% unchanged), bile/faeces; Half-life: 3-4h
Excretion {{{excretion}}}
Pregnancy category B
Legal status
Routes of administration SQ, Oral, Inhaled

Terbutaline (trade names Brethine, Bricanyl, or Brethaire) is a β2-adrenergic receptor agonist, used as a fast-acting bronchodilator (often used as a short-term asthma treatment) and as a tocolytic to delay premature labour. The inhaled form of terbutaline starts working within 15 minutes and can last up to 6 hours.

Terbutaline as a treatment for premature labour is an off-label use not approved by the FDA. Studies have suggested that terbutaline is a developmental neurotoxicant and may cause brain damage to the infant.[1]

Side EffectsEdit

Maternal - tachycardia, nervousness, tremors, headache and possible pulmonary edema. Fetal - tachycardia and hypoglycemia. Terbutaline is preferred over Ritodrine because it has minimal effects on blood pressure.


  1. Rhodes M, Seidler F, Abdel-Rahman A, Tate C, Nyska A, Rincavage H, Slotkin T (2004). Terbutaline is a developmental neurotoxicant: effects on neuroproteins and morphology in cerebellum, hippocampus, and somatosensory cortex. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 308 (2): 529–37. Free full text

Template:Asthma and copd rx
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