Medicine & USMLE


In Progress
  1. Terbutaline
  2. Radioactive Iodine
  3. Ipratropium / Tiotropium
  4. Levothyroxine
  5. Second Generation Antihistamines
  6. First Generation Antihistamines (Diphenhydramine)
  7. Inhaled Steroids
  8. Antitussives
  9. Hypokalemia


Terbutaline is a beta-2 agonist that is given to delay preterm labor by relaxing the uterus. Adverse effects include maternal pulmonary edema, as well as maternal and fetal tachycardia.

Key Points

  • Terbutaline
    • Mechanism
      • Beta-2 Adrenergic Agonist
        • Activities beta2-adrenergic receptors causing bronchial and uterine smooth muscle relaxation (tocolysis)
    • Clinical Use
      • Decreases intensity and frequency of uterine contractions 
        • Can be used for up to 24 hours
        • Reverses effects of oxytocin
        • Used to delay preterm labor or to stop contractions because of fetal distress
      • Asthma
        • Induces bronchodilation similar to other beta-2 agonists (e.g. albuterol)
    • Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
      • Maternal Pulmonary Edema
        • Mechanism is unclear
      • Maternal and fetal tachycardia
      • Maternal hypotension