Terbutaline ball-and-stick model.png
Terbutaline (top),
and (R)-(−)-terbutaline (bottom)
Clinical data
ATC code
Pharmacokinetic data
Protein binding25%
MetabolismGI tract (oral), liver; CYP450: unknown
half-life11-16 hours
Excretionurine 90% (60% unchanged), bile/faeces
23031-25-6 ☒N
DB00871 ☒N
5210 ☒N
D08570 ☒N
CHEBI:9449 ☒N
ChEMBL1760 ☒N
100.041.244 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass225.29 g·mol−1
3D model (Interactive image
ChiralityRacemic mixture
 ☒N☑Y (verify)

Terbutaline (trade names Bronclyn, Brethine, Bricanyl, Brethaire, or Terbulin) is a β2 adrenergic receptor agonist, used as a "reliever" inhaler in the management of asthma symptoms and as a tocolytic (anti-contraction medication) to delay preterm labor for up to 48 hours. This time can then be used to administer steroid injections to the mother which help fetal lung maturity and reduce complications of prematurity.[1] It should not be used to prevent preterm labor or delay labor more than 48–72 hours. In February 2011, the Food and Drug Administration has ordered to put a boxed warning on the drug's label. Pregnant women should not be given injections of the drug terbutaline for the prevention of preterm labor or for long-term (beyond 48–72 hours) management of preterm labor, and should not be given oral terbutaline for any type of prevention or treatment of preterm labor "due to the potential for serious internal heart problems and death."[2][3]

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also discourages the use of terbutaline for preventing preterm labor.[citation needed]


Terbutaline is used as a fast-acting bronchodilator (often used as a short-term asthma treatment) and as a tocolytic[4] to delay premature labor. The inhaled form of terbutaline starts working within 15 minutes and can last up to 6 hours.

Terbutaline as a treatment for premature labor is an off-label use not approved by the FDA. It is a pregnancy category C medication and is routinely prescribed to stop contractions. After successful intravenous tocolysis, little evidence exists that oral terbutaline is effective.[5] However, following uterine inversion in the third stage of labor, terbutaline (or either Halothane or magnesium sulfate) can be used to relax the uterus if necessary prior to uterine replacement.

Other Languages
العربية: تيربوتالين
تۆرکجه: تربوتالین
Cymraeg: Terbwtalin
dansk: Terbutalin
Deutsch: Terbutalin
español: Terbutalina
euskara: Terbutalina
فارسی: تربوتالین
français: Terbutaline
italiano: Terbutalina
magyar: Terbutalin
polski: Terbutalina
português: Terbutalina
русский: Тербуталин
српски / srpski: Terbutalin
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Terbutalin
українська: Тербуталін