Last update Jan. 30, 2021

Terbutaline Sulfate


Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

Short-acting beta-adrenergic bronchodilator, similar in characteristics to salbutamol.
Indicated in the treatment of asthma.
Administration preferably inhaled (also oral or intravenous).

It is excreted into breast milk in clinically non-significant amount (Lindberg 1984, Lonnerholm 1982, Boreus 1982) and neither clinical nor development problems were observed in infants whose mothers were treated with oral terbutaline (Lindberg 1984, Lonnerholm 1982, Boreus 1982) .
Plasma levels of these infants were undetectable or very low (Lindberg 1984, Lonnerholm 1982).

Preferable preparations are inhaled bronchodilators since <10% of the dose is absorbed.

Several medical societies, experts authors and expert consensus consider the use of inhaled bronchodilators to be safe during breastfeeding (Hale, Lactmed, Amir 2011, National Asthma 2004, Nelson 2001, Ellsworth 1994).
American Academy of Pediatrics: medication usually compatible with breastfeeding (AAP 2001).


We do not have alternatives for Terbutaline Sulfate since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Terbutaline Sulfate in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Terbutaline Sulfate in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 30-50 (Inhal: 10) %
Molecular weight 549 daltons
Protein Binding 20 %
VD 1 - 2 l/Kg
pKa 8.86 -
Tmax 0.5 hours
12 hours
M/P ratio 2 - 2.9 -
Theoretical Dose 0.0005 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 0.2 %
Ped.Relat.Dose 0.3 %


  1. LactMed. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Internet. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Available from: 2006 - Consulted on April 16, 2024 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Hale TW. Medications & Mothers' Milk. 1991- . Springer Publishing Company. Available from Consulted on April 10, 2024 Full text (link to original source)
  3. Middleton PG, Gade EJ, Aguilera C, MacKillop L, Button BM, Coleman C, Johnson B, Albrechtsen C, Edenborough F, Rigau D, Gibson PG, Backer V. ERS/TSANZ Task Force Statement on the management of reproduction and pregnancy in women with airways diseases. Eur Respir J. 2020 Feb 6;55(2). pii: 1901208. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Amir LH, Pirotta MV, Raval M. Breastfeeding--evidence based guidelines for the use of medicines. Aust Fam Physician. 2011 Sep;40(9):684-90. Review. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Nice FJ, De Eugenio D, Dimino TA, Freeny IC, Rovnack MB, Gromelski JS. Medications and Breast-Feeding: A Guide for Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, and Other Healthcare Professionals. Part I. J Pharm Technol 2004;20:17-27. doi: 10.1177/875512250402000106.
  6. National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Asthma and Pregnancy Working Group. Managing asthma during pregnancy: recommendations for pharmacologic treatment-2004 update. 2004;1-57. None 2004 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Nelson-Piercy C. Asthma in pregnancy. Thorax. 2001 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs. Transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk. Pediatrics. 2001 Sep;108(3):776-89. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Ellsworth A. Pharmacotherapy of asthma while breastfeeding. J Hum Lact. 1994 Abstract
  10. Hochhaus G, Möllmann H. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic characteristics of the beta-2-agonists terbutaline, salbutamol and fenoterol. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol. 1992 Abstract
  11. Lindberg C, Boréus LO, de Château P, Lindström B, Lönnerholm G, Nyberg L. Transfer of terbutaline into breast milk. Eur J Respir Dis Suppl. 1984 Abstract
  12. Boréus LO, de Château PU. Terbutaline in breast milk. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1982 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Lönnerholm G, Lindström B. Terbutaline excretion into breast milk. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1982 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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