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Drugs reference index «Brethine»


Generic name: Terbutaline sulfateBrand names: Brethine

Why is Brethine prescribed?

Brethine is a bronchodilator (a medication that opens the bronchial tubes), prescribed for the prevention and relief of bronchial spasms in asthma. This medication is also used for the relief of bronchial spasm associated with bronchitis and emphysema.

Most important fact about Brethine

If you experience an immediate allergic reaction or a worsening of a bronchial spasm, notify your doctor immediately.

How should you take Brethine?

Take Brethine exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

The action of Brethine may last up to 8 hours. Do not use it more frequently than recommended.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. Then take the rest of your medication for that day in evenly spaced doses. Do not take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from light.

Brethine side effects

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Brethine.

  • Side effects may include:Chest discomfort, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, drowsiness, fast, fluttery heartbeat, flushed feeling, headache, increased heart rate, nausea, nervousness, pain at injection site, rapid heartbeat, sweating, tremors, vomiting, weakness

Why should Brethine not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Brethine or similar drugs such as Ventolin, you should not take Brethine. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about Brethine

When taking Brethine, you should not use other asthma medications before checking with your doctor. Only your doctor can determine what is a sufficient amount of time between doses. If you find that Brethine is not working, tell your doctor immediately.

Consult with your doctor before using Brethine if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or an overactive thyroid gland, or if you have had seizures at any time.

Unless you are directed to do so by your doctor, do not take Brethine if you have heart disease, especially if you also have an irregular heart rate.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Brethine

If Brethine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Brethine with the following:Antidepressant drugs known as MAO inhibitors (Nardil, Parnate, others)Beta blockers (blood pressure medications such as Inderal and Tenormin)Diuretics (water pills, such as Lasix or HydroDIURIL)Other bronchodilators such as Proventil and VentolinTricyclic antidepressant drugs such as Elavil and Tofranil

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Brethine during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Brethine appears in breast milk. If Brethine is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop nursing your baby until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage for Brethine


The usual tablet dose is 5 milligrams taken at approximately 6-hour intervals, 3 times per day during waking hours. If side effects are excessive, your doctor may reduce your dose to 2.5 milligrams, 3 times per day.

Do not take more than 15 milligrams in a 24-hour period.


This medication is not recommended for use in children below 12 years of age.

For children 12 to 15 years of age, the usual dose is 2.5 milligrams, 3 times per day, not to exceed a total of 7.5 milligrams in a 24-hour period.


Any drug taken or used in excess can have serious consequences. Signs of a Brethine overdose are the same as the side effects. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Brethine Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Brethine MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Brethine Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Terbutaline Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Brethaire Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)

See Also...

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