Terbutaline is a beta agonist drug that is prescribed to patients who have breathing problems because of asthma, emphysema or other chronic respiratory disorders. This medication helps relax and open the airways so that patients can more easily breathe. It is taken orally every three to six hours to keep airways open.
This medication used to be used to stop premature labor; however, it is no longer approved for this purpose because of health risks to the mother and child. Using this medication to stop premature labor can cause heart problems and death in pregnant women and may cause birth defects.
This medication should be taken as directed even if the patient feels better in order to keep symptoms from returning. If the medication stops working, the patient may need other treatments to ensure his or her ability to breathe despite asthma or other respiratory conditions.