Drug Classification & Information

Terbutaline is a beta agonist medication with bronchodilating effects.  It stimulates beta receptors in the bronchial tubes and in the walls of the blood vessels.  It may weakly stimulate the beta receptors in the heart as well.  This can lead to tachycardia.

Indications for Use

Terbutaline may be used for airway disease in both dogs and cats as it is an oral bronchodilator.  It is also used for animals with bradycardias (slow heart rate) such as animals with sick sinus syndrome or AV block where pacemaker therapy may not be pursued. 

Potential Drug Interactions

Beta blockers may antagonize the effects of terbutaline (reduce its effect).  Caution with digoxin as combination may increase risk for arrhythmias. 

Drug Side Effects

Side effects are dose dependent and may include gastrointestinal signs (anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea), restlessness, tremors, excitement and increase in heart rate.  It is recommended to use this drug with caution in patients with a history of heart failure, seizures, hyperthyroidism and hypertension.

Therapeutic Monitoring

When used for the treatment of airway disease, monitor clinical response to therapy.

Dosage Forms

Human: 2.5 & 5 mg tablets