Medication Guide App

Brethine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: terbutaline (ter-BUE-ta-leen)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Brethine should not be used to treat prolonged (more than 48 to 72 hours) premature labor. Serious and sometimes fatal side effects, including fast or irregular heartbeat, high blood sugar, low blood potassium levels, fluid in the lungs, and heart attack, have been reported after the use of Brethine in pregnant women. Brethine may also cause fast heartbeat or low blood sugar in the fetus or newborn if given to a pregnant woman.

Brethine should also not be used for premature labor outside of your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.


Brethine is used for:

Treating or preventing symptoms caused by spasms or contractions of the muscles around the bronchioles (air tubes) associated with asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Brethine is a bronchodilator. It works by dilating (opening) the bronchioles of the lungs by relaxing the muscles around them. This allows for easier airflow into and out of the lungs.

Do NOT use Brethine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Brethine or to a sympathomimetic amine (eg, epinephrine, albuterol)
  • you need to treat prolonged (more than 48 to 72 hours) premature labor

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Video: Asthma

How to prevent and treat an asthma attack.

Before using Brethine:

Some medical conditions may interact with Brethine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have heart disease, an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid, diabetes, a history of seizures, or an adrenal gland tumor

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Brethine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, entacapone), droxidopa, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of side effects, such as life-threatening irregular heartbeat, may be increased
  • Diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) or other sympathomimetic medicines (eg, pseudoephedrine, albuterol) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Brethine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may be a sympathomimetic
  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol) because they may decrease Brethine's effectiveness
  • Insulin because its effectiveness may be decreased by Brethine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Brethine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Brethine:

Use Brethine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Brethine is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Brethine at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Brethine. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Brethine if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Brethine and are using it regularly, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Brethine.

Important safety information:

  • Brethine may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Brethine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • If your breathing problems do not improve, if they get worse after using Brethine, or if you need to use Brethine more often than usual, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Brethine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Diabetes patients - Brethine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Brethine if you have taken an MAOI (eg, phenelzine) or a tricyclic antidepressant (eg, amitriptyline) within the last 2 weeks. The effects of these medicines are long lasting and may still interact with Brethine.
  • Brethine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 12 years; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Brethine while you are pregnant. It is not known if Brethine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Brethine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Brethine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Difficulty sleeping; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; nausea; nervousness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; increased difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); burning, numbness, or tingling; chest pain or discomfort; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; muscle pain, weakness, or cramping; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; pounding in the chest; seizures; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; tremors; wheezing.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chest pain; dry mouth; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; muscle pain, weakness, or cramping; nervousness; seizures; severe or persistent headache, dizziness, or nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; tremor; or vomiting.

Proper storage of Brethine:

Store Brethine at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Keep in the original container until ready for use. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Brethine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Brethine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Brethine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Brethine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Brethine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Brethine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Brethine.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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