Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Brethine

(Terbutaline)

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Makes it easier to breathe.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Brethine (Terbutaline) is effective at preventing asthma attacks, but isn’t the first choice. It’s generally well-tolerated, but let your doctor know if you feel more lightheaded or have a rapid heartbeat while taking this medicine.

  • Brethine (Terbutaline) is effective at preventing and reversing constriction in the airways due to asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
  • Available in a generic form.
  • Good choice for asthma if you find it hard to use inhalers properly.
  • Only lasts about six hours.
  • Can raise your blood sugars. If you have diabetes, check your sugars regularly and let your doctor know if they’re higher than usual.
  • Takes about 30 to 45 minutes to start working, so it won’t help an asthma attack once it starts.

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Side effects for Brethine (Terbutaline)

From clinical trials of Terbutaline / Bronchospasm with asthma ( 199)

  • NervousnessNervousness35% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo
  • TremorTremor15% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache8% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo
  • DrowsinessDrowsiness6% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo
  • Heart pounding or racing sensationHeart pounding or racing sensation5% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness4% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo
  • Abnormally fast heart beatAbnormally fast heart beat4% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea3% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo
  • Sleep difficultySleep difficulty2% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo
  • Extrasystoles ventricularExtrasystoles ventricular2% for Terbutaline vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Brethine (Terbutaline)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can cause nervousness, fast heartbeat, lightheadedness, and dry mouth.
  • If your asthma symptoms are getting worse, don’t take more tablets. Talk to your doctor about how to better control your asthma.
  • Take Brethine (Terbutaline) regularly to prevent asthma attacks. It doesn't work right away, so it won't control an asthma attack immediately.

Risks and Warnings for Brethine (Terbutaline)

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  • Even though Brethine (Terbutaline) is used to treat asthma, sometimes it can actually make peoples’ airways more cramped, so it’s harder to breathe. If you're feeling short of breath and it's not going away, seek medical attention immediately.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Brethine (Terbutaline)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
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