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Terbutaline Mothers Lament Potential Harm to Their Kids

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Washington, DCNo one would argue that a healthy debate is a good thing—such as the debate that continues to rage over Terbutaline Sulfate and whether or not the drug is harmful to the fetus when prescribed to the mother to ward against, or stop premature labor. What's worse? The possibility of premature labor and the potential for negative outcomes? Or use of a drug that has been shown to stop premature contractions, but could pose maternal or natal harm?

You don't want to get it wrong.

It was back in February—almost a year ago—that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its latest cautionary position for an indication that would have been furthest from the agency's collective brain trust when the drug was approved in 1994 for treatment of asthma and various bronchial issues.

Three years later, Terbutaline was being increasingly adopted off-label as a means to treat early or pre-term labor in expectant mothers. That left the FDA with the task of issuing warnings against the prolonged use of Terbutaline, over concern for Terbutaline side effects.

Fourteen years later, those warnings keep coming amidst some conflicting reports. The FDA has focused primarily on the health of the mother and warns against the use of Terbutaline beyond 48 to 72 hours through any means. Those delivery systems include injection, oral Terbutaline or by infusion pump. Serious heart problems and the risk of death in the mother are the concerns.

Pregnant women are torn between the risks associated to the baby through premature birth v. any potential for harm of the Terbutaline passing through the placenta. One woman writing to an online medical site, pregnancy.org, was concerned about potential Terbutaline side effects to her unborn child. A medical expert replied that while taking any medication while pregnant is never a good idea unless absolutely necessary, the responder was not aware of any research suggesting damage to the fetus beyond the potential for subtle effects long-term.

And yet in 2004 a study originating with Duke University Medical Center concluded that Terbutaline was a developmental neurotoxicant.

Translation: cognitive and neuropsychotic issues.

From mothers who have contributed responses to a Salient News summary of the February 2011 FDA warning, some interesting posts.

One woman took Terbutaline sulfate for the pre-term labor she experienced with both of her sons. Well beyond the FDA's outside limit of 72 hours, the patient was on Terbutaline for six weeks and nine weeks respectively. Her oldest, she says, is fine. But her youngest, "isn't." She didn't go into detail.

Another contributor said she took Terbutaline for eight to 10 weeks for her two children. Both, she reports, suffer from Terbutaline side effects.

Yet another described taking Terbutaline during pregnancy for "a month or two" for pre-term labor. At the time of her post, her son had just been diagnosed with PDD. And the mother of two girls described as requiring testing for autism, reports taking Terbutaline for preterm labor as well.

Hence the concern about potential for autistic-spectrum disorder and other developmental issues given the capacity for Terbutaline sulfate to cross the placenta and blood-brain barrier of the fetus, according to the February 22, 2011 issue of the Salient News.

Doctors appear to remain divided, with some advising that use of Terbutaline during pregnancy carries less risk than that of a premature delivery. Others advocate exhausting every other avenue to control pre-term labor in order to avoid long-term use of Terbutaline sulfate (beyond 48 to 72 hours) to mitigate pre-term labor.

One Terbutaline mother posting to an online forum articulated the possibility of a Terbutaline lawsuit.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

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I thought I was all alone. I took terbutaline from 4 months pregnant till my due date. I was 15 back in 1994. I have struggled with my son with schizophrenia, bipolar, ADHD, ... His super smart, but I would call the police to help him for behavior issues and mental health and they take him to jail? Now because of me calling for help, and His SMI, now his in prison , because there is No mental health that helps..

Posted by

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My heart goes out to all the families of the posts for this article. I was also a mother who was prescribed Trebutaline for treatment of preterm labor of my daughter, born in 1996, and my son, born in 2000. I had bed rest for 5 months with my daughter and 6 months with my son. During that time I was prescribed Trebutaline.

My daughter is 22 and is finishing her last year in college. She is working on her BSRN (bacherlors science registered nurse) Degree. She is a Straight A student, always has been from elementary through college, never missed being placed on the Deans list, a high achiever, bubbly sweet and full of wonderful energy. Left brain dominant. She has been accepted for an externship with the MAYO Clinic in Arizona, a very high and sought after acheivement. Please finish reading this, dear reader, I am not done.

My son is 17. Straight A student. Track, Wrestling, Cross Country. Very active in school. (left handed, right and left brain dominant) In my eyes, he's perfect just like my daughter; however, he chooses NOT to be a high achiever, that is his choice. He's a 3.50 GPA, but if there is a teacher he doesn't like or that he doesn't get along with, he purposely chooses not to listen to them, which he finally has now realized it hurts him most in the end, sans he has to take summer school at the Jr. College to make up for his failure in one of his classes. He's smart and very clever. But I'm smarter and much more clever than he is. And he knows that. My thumb is on him. He can get straight A's if he wanted to, but he chooses the latter because his personality is very stubborn, doesn't like to be told what to do, unless he respects the authority directing him, then he will comply. He sees things in a different perspective than his sister. She sees black and white his is grey. He knows what is right and wrong. He loves history, politics and he is very sensitive to what he sees and reads from the news, etc. He shows empathy for those who have been wronged or who suffer and he just wants to save the world.

My son is ultra sensitive to sound. Loud sounds, high volume sounds give him anxiety. He rarely slept as a baby and he cried non-stop from birth to 2 years. He refused care from anyone but me. My daughter just told me that she was afraid to tell me years ago that she, too, is ultra sensitive to sound, not as extreme as her brother but it bothers her. I found this out only 4 months ago. Both have public speaking and large gathering anxieties. They become withdrawn and upset, but they don't display it by acting out. They just quietly leave the uncomfortable situation and go about their day. Their father and I have extroverted personalities. We love gatherings, loud music, we have many friends, we were both very popular in high school, where as both our kids, they have a few friends, they prefer small groups and music and loud noises they just avoid. It was difficult for their father and I to adjust to their introverted personalities. We found it frustrating but we never lashed out at the kids or forced them to be more extroverted but instead we loved them and supported them.

I have thought about the long term effects the Trebutaline could have on my children. I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. My children do not have the severity of the effects that the other families have but it all makes sense now. I know my children will succeed in this world. They are stronger and more resilient because they don't let their 'little traits' stop them from what they want to be or what they want to do in their lives. I never gave up on them and I never sent them to the doctor to have them checked out because I never thought I needed too. These two miracles (my children) are gifts given to me from the heavens to watch over and guide and love in order for them to continue on with their path in life. I feel sorrow for the struggles these families have been through and I pray for their continued strength as they struggle with the challenges from the effects of this drug. Please know...you're not alone. I finally feel validated by reading all of your stories. Stay strong and continue to endeavor to persevere through the challenges caused by something that saved your children's life. We all took it to save them. That's how much love we have for our children, despite what we had to do when the effects manifested themselves in our children. And not one of you gave up on your children, that's the true and pure love of a parent. Bless you all.

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I keep researching terbutaline adverse effects, even as my daughter approaches 23 years old. My intuition that "all was not well" at age 2 is sadly being proven every day. I was put on terbutalline capsules for pre-term laber at 30 weeks and was on them every 4 hours until 40 weeks while on complete bedrest. I remember how hideously anxious it made me. My eyes would literally shake in my head. I've struggled with extreme anxiety my entire life but in 1995, I lost the ability to ever sleep through the night without medication. I have also had problems with heart tachycardia, palpitations and so-on.
So onto my beautiful girl. My daughter is "off". I suspect strongly she is on the autistic spectrum. As an infant, she was highly reactive to any stimulation. Attachment parenting was widely practiced and she could not tolerate swaddling or anything tights. To this day, a tag in a shirt will drive her absolutely out of her head. At about 3 days old she started scream-crying and literally did not stop for a year. "Colic" the doctors said. I knew something was off by the time she was a toddler. She also suffered several febrile seizures until she reached the age of 5. Developmentally, she was "slightly" behind the 8-ball, but nothing completely outrageous. The school system just kept pushing her through. However, she started showing very early signs of hyper-sensitivity which I believe is sensory integration disorder and ODD. I started seeking help through counselors and shrinks by five. At six she was dx'd with visual tracking disorder. However, this was not a "recognized" disorder and relegated to expensive therapy sessions I couldn't afford as a single parent. By the time she was a pre-teen she'd started acting out in more serious ways. At 14 she was institutionalized for depression/anxiety, cutting, suicide ideation. Not a damn one of the doctors she saw suspected addiction as well. She started using drugs to feel "normal" at about 13 and by 19 she was an addict and raging alcoholic. Her cognitive function has always been low. She seems to have a lack of awareness about the space around her and how her body moves in it. At times she is completely unaware of cold, yet HATES water splashed on her face. She is now almost 23.
The thought that I took something that took her potential away whilst trusting my doctors makes me feel absolutely sick to my stomach. I begged for help from doctors for years, just to be told it was all in my head and I was a "bad mom" and needed to try harder. If anyone knows of a terbutaline forum I would greatly appreciate it.

Posted by

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Is this thread still around. I am so desperate w my 20!year old. I wish we could exchange emails. I am csteinberg10@verizon.net

Posted by

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ok I have three boys the first born 2 months early I was 19 years old ,5 years later I find I'm preg. with my second son. I went into labor at 5 months and found i got a thin cervix and i had an operation they stitched my cervix closed so i couldn't dilate any more. I don't know all of the shots I kept getting, and the pills I took every four hours they was terbutaline. He was born a month early but healthy and plays football in jr. high now he seems to be just normal teen. So any way and the last boy born in 2005 I from the day I went into and confirmed with Dr I was pregnant i started taking that medicine wasted no time to stitch the cervix before it all started my son is a great very very smart kid he is very involved in student council and the presidential stuff that's going on just couldnt ask for more there's only one thing that I'm not even sure is related to this but I slightly recall now just tonight the Dr saying some thing about cancer later on down the road. Well at the end of the fourth grade school year he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma that's a childrens cancer in soft tissues his was in his testicular area and had to have one removed along with 23 days radiation, and 6 months chemo. That we started on his second day of what would of been school he missed most of the fifth grade year maybe last term he was there only missed 6 days and not once did his grade go down hes very intelligent and we are very fortunate and went thru most with out complications or sickness that held him back in his treatment.

Posted by

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I am, also, blown away having just found this on the web. I have two sons ages 27 and 18, born in 1989 & 1997. I had preterm labor with both pregnancies in the 21st week. my uterus was irritable and constantly contracted. I was on the maximum doses of tributaline for up to 16 weeks. Plus mag sulfate and indocin too. Both my boys have anxiety and ADD. my younger son has cried since the day he was born. He had severe separation anxiety, and could not enjoy normal activities as a child. He came home from overnight camp and had PTSD. I think he still it 8 years later. He has executive functioning and learning issues too.

the question is how are you treating them. What drugs, if any seem to work????

Posted by

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I am sick to my stomach by all the stories I have read on this site. This is my story.....In September 1991 I found out I was pregnant. By January of 1992 I was having all kinds of issues with my pregnancy and my doctor, at the time, refused to listen. He basically told me that I just did not want to work, so I switched to another doctor and a week or so later I was advised I was pregnant with Twins. Within weeks of seeing my new doctor, I was taken out of work. I could barely stand because of constant nerve pain in my legs. By February, I started having premature labor. My doctor put me on Brethine and I complained about how nervous and anxious I felt on the medicine. He told me to cut the dose in half, but I was still concerned. Because, I did not want to have my twins early I continued to take the medication until they were delivered in May 1992. When my twins were little they never slept. I thought this was very odd because everybody else who had children talked about how much their babies slept in a day. I now wonder if my twins were born with an addiction due to the Brethine. As toddlers my twins were very active, so it was a challenge going anywhere without help. When they were 3.5 years of age I enrolled them in preschool and by the end of that first year I was told they had some learning disabilities. At first, I could not believe it because they seemed like such bright twins. When they were in first grade, I had them tested privately through my insurance and the specialist told me they both suffered from ADHD with some cognitive learning issues. One had issues with numbers more and the other with letters. I was advised by the end of first grade that I should keep them back because they were immature and by doing this it would help, but the specialist my twins were seen by stated it would not help. He advised us the twins would still suffer from the same learning issues regardless of repeating the first grade again. My husband and I took the advice from the specialist and my twins graduated to the second grade. School was always a challenge but with help from my mother, five nights a week, my twins were able to excel to the best of their ability. My mother was a teacher, so she understood the challenges they had in school. Without her I am not sure if they would have graduated from high school. She would reteach them everything they learned in school in a way they would understand it. My twins were always active, so they excelled in sports, but during their high school years I started seeing more signs of some emotional issues. They would become obsessed with whatever held their interest. After high school my one twin started going to a county college and the other one decided to go into the military. My husband and I did not agree with the military decision because mentally my one twin was not there. Physically we knew he/she would have no problem. Well, the military did not work out and our one twin was back home after a month. This is when our life became a living hell. My one twin started talking about suicide all the time. My one twin was dating somebody who just made matters worse. This person helped my one twin cope by giving he/she pills to calm him/her down. We found this out a couple of years later. We tried getting him/her help, but we were not sure what was causing some of the emotional issues. Moods would change at the drop of a hat. It was constant chaos in our home. We started seeing signs of the same behavior from the other twin about a year later. For six years we have dealt with one crazy thing after another. My twins became drug addicts. They are addicted to opioids. Our life has been a living hell! My twins told me the drugs make their brains feel normal. They help calm down the thoughts in their heads and it would help them sleep. I just want answers to why this has happened to our family. My twins were loved by everybody and had a very happy childhood. I feel Brethine is the cause of my twins issues to this day. I have another child who does not have any of the mental issues my twins are plagued with. During that pregnancy, I was not on any medication. I did contact a lawyer a few years ago and I was told Brethine was most likely the cause of my twins issues. I was told that they were working on more severe cases and that my name would be added to a list. Also, my OBGYN basically stated Brethine could be the cause of their emotional and learning issues, too. It is sad to think that my twins will never be able to live a normal life and that our family will never see a light at the end of this tunnel. Do not take this medication even if your doctor insists on it!!!!

Posted by

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My name is Sharon, I have three girls, all of which I went into pre-term labor at 27 weeks. I was hospitalized with each, and given an array of drugs including magnesium sulfate, trabutaline and injections for maturing the baby's lungs. The information I have read is quite disturbing and heartbreaking, to think I thought I was helping my babies, now to learn that the disorders they have suffered with for years were caused because of these drugs. My girls are dealing with clinical depression, OCD, ADHD, anxiety, panic attacks, bi-polar, intestinal issues, stomach issues and my oldest has gone into pre-term labor twice … at 27, she never seemed to engage in education, never seemed to grasp concepts or comprehend material, she suffers with bi-polar, anxiety, periodic schizophrenic tendencies and chronic reflux disease. My middle daughter, 24, brilliant, but suffers with OCD, panic attacks, paranoia, anxiety and gastrointestinal issues. My youngest, 21, how lucky is she, she received the gamut. Away at college, the past 3 years, the late night fearful calls of suicide, possible trips to the emergency room or psychiatric hospital have been stressful on us all and she is now living back at home for her final year. As for myself, I have been living with daily migraines for years, suffer balance issues, dizziness, restless legs syndrome, chronic daily sleepiness, have a resting heartrate of 65 with low blood pressure. Thoughts with everyone dealing with children of this drug! Not sure why the light-bulb moment for me yesterday, wow, how many others?

Posted by

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Responding to Enlightened mom,

Your experience sounds almost identical to mine except my child is a girl.

I know the hell and I know you want it to end now. I also know you feel you can't go on another day in this hell yet somehow you do. Continue doing what you are doing. Give your son all the love and reassurance you can because he truly does have those fears and they may seem silly and impossible to us but in his mind they are very real and possible. So instead of trying to prove his fears are groundless which would further make him feel more estranged, different and depressed than he does already, to ease his fears go over a plan of action with him before bed time. One in which you and his dad and brother are involved in defeating the bad guys. Then end it by saying IF that should ever happen that is what we would do but of course no one would be foolish enough to mess with us would they? Give him a reassuring smile a kiss on the head and good night. it is very important that if he comes to you saying he hears them you pretend to believe him and check it out. he needs to know he can depend on you. once you have established the trust and proved it was only the wind or cat etc, then ask him to please be brave and not wake you again unless it is the real bad guys. because he knows you will come he will try harder not to wake you now. because he knows you are own his side. he is no longer alone. that is why he said he wants to die. he knows he is different and alone and no one understands him. he also knows his fears are in his head but he can't control them. Now I don't know if it will be same for you but I pray I will be. When my daughter hit puberty age around 12 she started acting a little better. By age 13 she was a different child. I always joke how other parents hated the teens years but for me it was opposite. Her infant, toddler, and childhood was hell but her teen years and beyond have been sweet bliss. it is as if something with the hormone changes of puberty leveled out what was messed up. she still has anxieties but not like when she was a child. oh and I did take her to a physcologist when she was a child to learn how to deal with her anxiety and anger issues. There is hope and light at end of the hell hole.

Posted by

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My oldest daughter is having a baby and has been experiencing preterm labor contractions 20 weeks on, so I told her I had taken Terbutaline and was placed on bedrest for 2 months with her sister who is now 20 and that perhaps she should ask for that. Her doctor told her it's no longer being prescribed and has been linked to Heart problems in the mother and cognitive abilities in the child.
I have had Tachycardia, and a shaky voice for the past 20 years no Dr. has been able to figure out the cause of it, and I was placed on Blood pressure medicine.
My 20 year old daughter has Asthma, ADHD and depression issues. I am so mad, shouldn't someone have let me know these things not just leave it's discovery it to chance. I took the medication because my Dr. assured me it was safe, I thought they did clinical trials before releasing medicines to be prescribed to the public. Apparently my child and I were the clinical trial without our knowledge.

Posted by

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I was put on terbutaline with both my children from the time I was twelve weeks until I was 36 weeks along. Daughter would have been 22 this month and son just turned 19 last month.

My daughter seemed a bit withdrawn throughout her childhood. After she turned 18 it all changed. She had an emotional outburst approximately three times within the last three plus years. About a year an a half ago she said she thought she was depressed. She sought treatment and took herself off antidepressants about six months ago. By all accounts seemed to be coping well...May 21st of this year she took her own life.

Both children excelled in school. Minor reading delay with daughter. She was a junior at a university and was about to complete her bachelor degree. Son excelled in school but had signs of ADD. I refused to have him put on medication. Son is a sophomore in college and currently employed.

I hate the thought that the very medication that allowed me to carry them to 36 weeks could also be the very thing that took my daughter away.

Posted by

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I am wondering if this conversation is still active. My daughter has Crohns and I took brethine and tributiline when pregnant in1994. Anyone else's child have this issue? I'm just searching for answers and correlations...

Posted by

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I was put on a Terbutaline pump when I was 25 weeks along in my pregnancy for pre-term labor. This was in 1992, and I was told that, although the medicine was being used "off label", it was considered safe for my baby.

I was put on a heart monitor, and experienced a "shaky voice", which later went away. I didn't feel at all bad, and was taken off the pump after 3 days. Once out of the hospital, I was given oral Terbutaline. I don't recall how long I was on this, but it was discontinued a couple of weeks before my child was born. He was born about 2 1/2 weeks before his due date, and had a very good apgar score and seemed healthy.

He was a bit fussy as a baby, but always very alert. At about 2 years of age, he became very fussy about what he would eat and was extremely picky about food textures. He seemed to have some trouble playing in groups of kids, and was often distracted. He demonstrated some troubles in school, but they seemed to be related to his inattentiveness. At age 7, he was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, and at 11 he was given a diagnosis of OCD.

He is in his early twenties now, and is struggling with some depression and occasional flare ups of OCD. We also think that he meets the criteria for sensory processing disorder.

It breaks my heart to think that I may have been given a medication that is making his life much more difficult than it should be! I'm so distressed to see so many comments from other mothers about the problems their children are having who were also given this drug pre-term. I hope and pray that things will improve for my son.

Posted by

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Hello my name is Josie. I was given terbutaline when I was pregnant with my son. In 2006 I went into preterm labor with my son I was rushed to the hospital where they gave me a shot of terbutaline and monitored. I was sent home with terbutaline. While on the medication my heart would race and I would get light headed. I went to see my OB and he told me to stay on the medication. After the feeling didn't go away I stopped the meds myself at 35 weeks. I could not take the effects anymore and looked up the medication. First thing I seen on a yahoo search was terbutaline lawyers. I knew I had to stop the medication. I ended up going into labor at 38 weeks where I was brought to the hospital in labor. They wanted to give me a shot of terbutaline and I said no. After the contractions mellowed out on their own but there was still some I was able to fall asleep. While I was resting a nurse came in and gave me a shot in the hip which woke me up. So not only did they give me a medication that was unsafe for my baby boy but also gave it to me against my wishes. I had my son at 39.5 weeks. He has gray matter heterotopia which was found at 6 months, adhd, learning disabilities, and cognitive delay. He is now 9 years old and has been fighting so hard to learn but is not able to learn like the rest of the children or his siblings. I tried getting help and was just told to talk to the FDA which I did when he was a baby. He was unable to eat split food until he was 2. He has been in special classes since he was about 8 months old. I was told that nothing would ever be done about what the hospital and doctors did to my son. So I am writing this so that others know they are not alone.

Posted by

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I suffered with severe uterine irritability and potential pre-term labor with my last 2 children. I have 3.
I was placed on oral terbutaline with the last 2 pregnancies at the 18-20 week mark. Both my children were born with Gastrointestinal dysfunction, irritable bowel and severe reflux requiring long-term treatment with PPI's (ex: protonix, nexium). My last baby, had laryngomalasia, and had to constantly be placed on her stomach while sleeping or her trachea could collapse at the cricoid area. That area eventually matured but it took about 3 years, but she had an even more severe case of reflux and has also had to continue with PPI's since her SECOND week of life!
She will probably have to continue these for life...my second child also. My first child (I was NOT on terbutaline), has NO gastrointestinal issues or reflux. With these facts noted, there is no doubt that terbutaline caused these defects in my 2 children.
I am in nurse practitioner school now, and I was hoping to do some research on specifically Gastrointestinal issues/defects in infants born to mothers treated with terbutaline... Would love to hear from those mothers....?

Posted by

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I went into preterm labor with my second son at about 27 weeks. The doctor put me on mag sulf in the hospital and I was released, with an RX for Terbutaline - 500 mg every four hours.

Horrible tremors. I was a wreck. Went in for a check up and needed a refill. Dr gives me a new script - this is 250 mg every 4 hours. I said it was incorrect. He said, no, it's not. It's in your chart. Same dosage. I pulled out the bottle and showed him. He looked completely freaked out. Gave me a new RX for the 250 mg, and said it had to be a mistake by the pharmacy. Went to the pharmacy and asked to see my last RX. It was the same as the bottle. He wrote it in the hospital, after a full night shift of delivering babies. Negligence.

My son was born as a scheduled C-section at 39 weeks, with underdeveloped lungs and anemia. Dr. never gave me a final ultrasound and the baby never dropped - I had a basketball up by my ribcage and they had to nearly stand on me to deliver him. My son never cried and scored very low on the APGAR test. He was rushed to the NICU and nearly died. They "just didn't know why" this happened. When I questioned the doctor about the Terbutaline and the lung issues, he said "there's no trend," and dropped it. I should have pushed it. I know he knew he messed up.

I am really thankful that my son survived, and had no residual issues, but, I do believe this doctor was negligent. I was overdosed on the meds by more than 100% daily. He was also very biased toward me because we were on Medi-Cal at the time, and he was insisting. I held my ground and said No. I think he thought I was an idiot. I didn't have any more kids, but it's not his choice, anyway.

So glad this site is here. Thought I was the only one.

Posted by

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This explains so much. I started researching this drug after a comment was made to me by a counselor of my son's when I was inquiring about the questions on the intake forms (asking specifically about pre term labor and any drugs for it) when I was originally getting him evaluated, and now I am pretty sure this is why my son and I have walked through hell for 10 years now. He is 10 years old and has the problems of someone much much older. What normal kid is (seriously) depressed at age 6, saying they wish they could die? Has anxiety so bad the sound of thunder or a car alarm can make him break down- or at age 6 talks though a scenario nightly that he worries about when I'm trying to calm him for bed (he had it all built up in his head that though we're on the 2nd floor somehow a burglar would come to his window w/a gun, break in, kidnap his baby brother and kill his parents,every night I had to talk him through this for 2 years) My poor son has ADHD, ODD, anxiety and depression and is emotionally very behind. He is a smart child (though he has school issues) and he's not weird every minute-don't get me wrong...but he suffers daily (and makes myself suffer severely to be honest thanks to the ODD-he's been this way since day 1.) His younger brother (who I did not take this drug during pregnancy with) couldn't be more different, like night & day my boys. The worst part is I DON'T THINK IT EVEN HELPED!!!

I had an auto accident at around 32-33 weeks pregnant (on 6/3) and started having contractions (according to the monitor-I couldn't feel 'em!) so they gave me mag sulfate, steroid shots, terbutaline and eventually I was sent home w/terbutaline pills on bed rest-it was awful. Every few hours those pills made my heart go nuts...I begged to stop taking them after a few weeks but was guilted into continuing or else I'd be potentially harming my baby, yet when I finally got the go ahead to stop I never went into labor.... it took another 12 days or so until after an exam @ the OB's office my water broke but I never went into labor! I had to be induced after that.....so what did it even stop?! My kid will need help for life most likely, I have never been the same, health issues started for me after that too, I've attributed it to bad luck, the auto accident etc...who knows now!! Anyone who knows of any info on how these affected kids turn out or how to best help them~ please reach out to me?!

Posted by

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I took terbutaline pills and the pump for 4 months with my son and only the pills with my daughter! My son functions normally but has had developmental delays and is dyslexic! My daughter however is 22 and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals Her entire life. She's been diagnosed with ADHD, Bipolar, anxiety disorder and many other disorders and also was learning disabled. She graduated high school in the special education program. She also had to have her leg amputated 5 years ago! My question is are there any medications being used to help these kids later on in life? The bipolar meds help but there is just something wrong and no one can put a finger on the real problem. I've thought all along that the terbutaline was the culprit but could not find any help for her.

Posted by

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I was on terbutaline from week 20 through week 36, with continuous pump. I was doing all I could in order to have my baby, multiple miscarriages up to that point. The medicine sent my heart rate up to 120-125 for at least 45 minutes after each dose, which was every few hours if I recall correctly. It was such an uncomfortable feeling.

My son has always processed differently than peers, he had colic that last until about 18 months of age, and had to reviews with the public school for "emotional disturbance" as they could not figure out why he would behave in certain ways. I knew. He is extremely sensitive to the emotional wiring of those around him, always has been. The times he was being observed by the school, he had teachers who were "hyper" or highly stressed personalities. One of them was in such frequent contact with me about what to do, I finally said to her, calm down and he will calm down. The following year he had a calm teacher and excelled.

My daughter is textbook "perfect" above and beyond what the goals are for her age... only had one time shot of terbutaline with her...

I am not surprised to read that terbutaline has these outcomes. Even though my son is challenging, the alternative of him not being here if I had not taken the terbutaline is unthinkable. I am sad that, based on comments of those with older children, he will continue to have these sensitivities throughout life and may get worse... I will have to be that much stronger to deal with it.

As for my health... I developed asthma after terbutaline, but only for several years. It has been cleared for 7 years now. My heart, which I thought would have the worst effect bc of the fast pulse for so long... I have resting pulse of 55-70 and low blood pressure.

Posted by

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In 1999, I went into preterm labor with my second child. I believe I was 20-25 weeks pregnant. I was given terbutaline injections while in the hospital and than sent home on the pill. After giving birth to my son there were many trips to the hospital. He had multiple breathing issues that almost costed him his life (I'll never forget the plastic glass bubble placed over my baby as he slept on my chest and a nurse quietly telling me to say goodbye because he might not make it). My son is 14 years of age today, has been diagnosed with 10 forms of ADHD, learning disabled, cognitively impaired, asthma, and mild retardation. My son has had reconstructive airway surgery and has little function of breathing through his nasal passage which has caused him to form ulcers in his mouth. My son struggles everyday to be like the other kids in school. It hurts to know that this drug is potentially the cause for all these years of suffering my son has had to endure.

Posted by

on
I started to take terbutaline when I was 26 weeks pregnant until I was in my last week of my pregnancy (40 weeks). Almost from the beginning I knew something wasn't right. He always cried (beyond the colic phase, up to 11 monyhs old). He started counseling when he was 4 yrs old. They have diagnosed him severe (pediatric) bipolar and adhd among other issues. I have 5 children and he is the only one I took the medication with and he is the only one that has these issues. I was unable to work when he was younger and had to get him approved for SSI due to his disorder. Now he is 21 yrs old and I am still having to help him and at times it still makes it very difficult to work. There has to be some compensation to help families with kids that have these issues due to the medications when had to take while pregnant with them.

Posted by

on
I was given terbutaline with both my children. The first child I had taken it for ten weeks to prevent premature birth. From weeks 25 -36 I had taken it.

My second son I had taken it but for not as long. 5 weeks, maybe.

My first son suffers from mild cognitive issues and maybe depression. He his probably on the Autism Spectrum. My second is on the Autism spectrum and has more issues.

As a baby, my second child suffered from RAD. Reactive Airway Disease. He seemed to react to everything.

Both my children seem somewhat delayed, the second more profound. I was told my second child would not go beyond 8th grade when he was in Kindergarten. he is a junior in High School. We held him back one year before he started Kindergarten.

My kids were born in 1993 and 1996. I had no idea this drug was not approved for preterm birth. I have been trying to figure out a connection between my children's health and what might have caused the problem. Now, I believe I have found the answer.

We have spent so time, energy and money to help overcome these issues. We have dealt with a lot socially, as well. I decided to do some research regarding my suspicions, and now I know what has caused my children's suffering.

I am saddened learning the truth.

Posted by

on
I was given terbutaline for preterm labor for the last trimester back in 2002. My son, now 11, has Asperger's Syndrome at the upper end of the autism spectrum. I believe there is a connection.

Posted by

on
Oh my gosh...we have been going through absolute hell with our boys and I just keep thinking, what are the odds we would have 3 boys who have so many emotional issues? And then I am trying to think, what else besides bad luck could it be? And the only other link I can think of is I had preterm labor with all of them, was on mag sulfate, terbutaline (pump, oral) and 17P weekly shots. I always felt uncomfortable with it all, but was assured it was safe and better than having a preemie. My eldest is worrying me so much, he has absolutely no emotional control. Breaks down, melts down over the smallest things, rages, etc. He has ADHD, ODD, sensory issues, anxiety. We are at our wits end. Our 4 & 6 year olds have similar issues...but our 10 year olds have gotten worse over time and I fear the other 2 will as well. They were all very "colicky" babies, didn't self soothe, low frustration levels, etc. OH MY GOSH, did me taking those meds to prevent preterm labor ruin my children for life?

Posted by

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Back in 1999 I was 4 and a half months pregnant when I started experiencing preterm labor. I was given a shot of terbutaline and it gave me the trimmers really bad and I was so emotional and crying a lot. I was sent home by my doctor and was given a prescription for the pills. A my last couple of prenatal visits my Doctor informed me I may deliver the end of July or I would be induced a week later.
I arrived at the hospital to be induced. Well, I was in labor for a couple hours and they said I stop breathing. I was giving oxygen and they did something to regain me. As soon as that happen my son whom I was pregnant with they were losing him, so the doctor performed an emergency C-section. My son has asthma now and is very emotional at 14yrs of age. I remember this frighten ordeal as if it was yesterday. I was told that my doctor had a reputation of giving his patients terbutaline to relax them and it will force them to have a c-section be cause the procedure paid more than a regular delivery.

Posted by

on
My daughter was on this pump and she passed away. can someone please contact me i got her medical record. I really think this pump was the reason for my daughter death.

Posted by

on
Hello my name is Josie, I am a mother of 5 children.
My first daughter was born at 35 weeks she is now 13 she has asthma and adhd (no terbutaline)
My second daughter was born at 34.3 weeks she is now 9 she has ADHD but no other health problems (no terbutaline)
My first son was born at 39 weeks he is now 7 I was put on terbutaline at 20 weeks with him via injection at the hospital and oral at home. My son had ADHD, Congnitive delay, gray matter heterotopia, he was unable to eat solid foods until almost 2, he did not learn to crawl until almost a year (even with working with him everday and birth to 3 working with him as well) At 6 months old my son started having seizures and was put on formula (they thought it would stop the seizures) Mind you they were not the normal flopping around seizures they were what is called silent seizures, basicly that blank stare that 1 of you above had talked about only it felt like he was looking right threw me. I rushed him into the hospital because something did not feel right and the doctor confirmed it was a silent seizure and if it happened again to call 911 right away. I ended up switching doctors due to the 1 I had said that he was fine and nothing was wrong with him at all I was an over paranoid mom and to go home. His new doctor ordered a sleep study where we found out he had mild sleep apnea and was ordered a brain scan where they found the Gray Matter Heterotopia threw CT scan and another night in the hospital due to observation. My son had another seizure and was ordered to be hospitalized for 72 hours for a eeg (brain scan) They started him on nutramagin (it is a formula for babies with major allergies) where he started to do better. He was still behind on all of his cognative and congestional areas I was advised by our new doctor to have several tests done to help find the cause of his disabilities which is when I went threw a series of tests as well including NUMEROUS questions about my pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I had said about being given the Terbutaline to my son's new pediatric doctor and his face turned white, he fell back into his chair and asked me to repeat what I had just said. I repeated everything I had said to him because I did not know exactly which part he was talking about. He then advised me to contact a lawyer because he felt he knew the cause of my son's disabilities (which I did do and the lawyer I spoke with in 2006 said I had to wait 2 years to see if he had any more problems due to the medication) I waited that 2 years as instructed and lone behold the number was no longer in service and the lawyer was no where to be found. I had tried several other lawyers whom said I did not have enough evidence (even with the doctor statements and my medical records)
Okay let me go back a little bit, I was 20 weeks when I was first put on Terbutaline via injection at the hospital, I felt like crap after being given this medication my resting heart rate was 80, it was 180 post shot. I asked nurse what she had given me and she just said a medication to help with the contractions (which I later found out that if you are in true labor does not stop the contractions so basicly I was going threw a really bad case of braxton hicks contractions) I was put on full bedrest and did not have a problem (unless I got up to go to the bathroom) with contractions. They had me on oral as a preventative which again I felt flush, like I was going to be sick all the time, and my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. I then decided to start doing research on the medication when I found several sites saying not to take it and that it was not approved by the FDA on pregnant patients that it was approved for asthma use on non pregnant patients. I stopped the terbutaline on my own and refused to take it any more even though my doctor ordered I continue taking it I went with my motherly intuitions. At 39 weeks I went into labor (mind you my girls were born at 34 and 35 weeks so I knew my son would be safe) upon arrival at the hospital they said they would not deliver and would stop my labor I refused all medications and was monitored at 2 am I woke my husband up screaming (pardon the language) What the fuck did you just inject me with?! Mind you I refused all medications so they gave me a shot after my body relaxed enough to fall asleep I was dialated 5 cm and 50% effaced. They told me that the doctor ordered Terbutaline myself and my husband instantly became irrate and asked to speak to the doctor right away. Upon entrance of the doctor (4 hours later) I repeated that I signed a medical form stating NO MEDICATIONS meaning none were to be given at all. She then told me and my husband that at 39 weeks it was unsafe to deliver a baby. I asked her how many children she had and she told me none I then told her that my son was my 3rd child and I knew that at 39 weeks it was safe to deliver. She tried to argue with me saying that my son was my first child (my other 2 were at grandma's because I was in the hospital and their dad my husband was with me) so it is 6 am I am very crabby and still contracting. They said they were going to stop my contractions completely which I fought against including trying to force more shots which my husband got stuck in the arm for 1 of them trying to protect me. At 10 am they refused me anything to eat or drink because I would get sick while delivering so I asked for ice chips because I was becoming dehydrated and could feel my son slowing down which again they refused so my husband asked for some apple juice for himself and they granted that one which he gave me after they walked out. It is now becoming noon I am contracting still and they are 5 minutes apart they come in with plain IV fluids which I was okay with due to being dehydrated and feeling my son moving a lot less which was worrying me his fetal tones also dropped 15 beats per min so I knew something was wrong. My doctor came in and said that they were giving me fluids because they were worried about my son while when they were "flushing" the iv they used terbutaline again instead of saline. I ripped my IV out of my arm and started to become violent (which is not like me) my heart rate jumped to 220 and I had to move. Now 11 am (central time) and I am going threw contractions again (finally) but they were really weak at this point as was my son. I started screaming at the top of my lungs for someone to help to get a different doctor or something they tried telling me that this med student (my doctor) was the only doctor on the floor. Well I was screaming loud enough and long enough another doctor came in to see what was going on. I told him everything I had told them including NO MEDICATIONS and he ordered them to start the pitocin right away which they started 2 hours later. I was then in labor now for almost 48 hours (on and off due to the terbutaline) and was very upset. I was on the pit for now 5 hours and with my girls I knew something was not right so I had the nurse check me and she said I was still at 5 cm and 50% effaced I told her break my water and it will be done and over with. Again they argued with me and said I put myself in this situation and needed to deal with it that breaking my water would harm my son. So I waited. 8 hours after starting the pit they checked me again and I was the same. I told them you break my water and he will be born within minutes. Again was denied and said I did not know what I was talking about I did not know my own body. So again I started yelling at hard as I could (mind you at this point I was very weak my heart rate was still high at 185 and my sons was dropping it had dropped another 20 bpm so it was taking everything I had to scream loud enough for anyone to hear me. Luckily 1 of the other patients heard me and told her doctor something was wrong so now in walks the doctor that ordered them to induce me and I told him what was going and he looked at my sons vitals and became white, he looked at the nurse and said break her water NOW. I asked for the epi before they broke my water (I would accept that at this point) and got denied. My husband had went to get something to eat and was 5 blocks away when they had the final order to break my water so when I called him he ran back just in time for them to break my water, my contractions were intense and I was in a lot of pain at this point on top of being tired from lack of food for now 2 days and very little fluids (I refused the IV period after their last stunt). Well my husband helps me into the tub to relax just a little when I said I had to go to the bathroom the nurse was like Oh good you can give me a urine sample (they accused me several times of being on drugs) I said no I had to go number 2 and they said they needed to check me. I lay on the bed (mind you not even 3 minutes after getting into the tub) A new nurse comes in to check on me she is nice and looks up at my husband (who is a wreck along with me at this point) and said "I'm sorry sir we can not give your wife the epidural" so my husband pissed off at the hospital and everything I had been going threw looks at her and says "what why the F not whats your G D excuse now" she just chuckled and said "shes dialated 9 cm we are having a baby". I am in full labor and pushing when my husband turns purple and can not breath the nurses are yelling at me not to push the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around my sons neck. They are able to get the cord off and he starts crying right away so we have our happy healthy baby boy (or so we thought he was happy just did not know he was not 100% healthy)

My 4rd baby is born another girl at 39 weeks now 5 happy healthy no problems what so ever (no terbutaline

My 5th baby is born at 39 weeks (would be 4) happy healthy then at 2 weeks started showing signs of sleep apnea so I took him into his doctor (completely different ped and hospital) where I was told I was an over paranoid mom go home. Tuesday Sept 29th 2009 (he was 25 days old) He passed away in his sleep. That was 2 days before his second opinion. Now mind you with my 1st son (baby number 3) he had sleep apnea so I knew the signs but yet was ignored.

So in all this the point that I am trying to get to is that with Terbutaline my son has SEVERAL problems both mental and physical. I was lied to several times about the medication after I started doing research on my own. I know a few other mothers that have had bad resaults as well. 1 of which her daughter was born shortly after my son (my 3rd child) who was given the same medication and her daughter had the same brain abnormality as my son but her daughter did not make it to 24 hours, she had a grandmal seizure which she did not recover from. So PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS MEDICATION!

Posted by

on
I was put on Terbutaline beginning in my 26th week with all three of my children until week 36 for my oldest child and 37 for the other two children. They all seemed like normal, happy well adjusted children until they started reaching puberty. At first I thought it was just normal hormonal crazies that come with puberty, but I noticed that for most of the posts, the problems appear to get worse in the early twenties especially with girls.

My daughter is a senior in high school, an honor student, had a good SAT score and is musically talented. However this past week, she has had a panic attack, has been moody, and apathetic toward school with no real reason why. I noticed the same apathy with my sons starting in Middle School. They, like their sister were A students in elementary school and emotionally well adjusted.

My sons both started community college and dropped out due to academic probation. One has no ambition, the other has compulsive behavior and is in and out of traffic court. My daughter is being sought after by some of the top colleges in the country, and has a good chance of being accepted, but I am scared silly whether she will graduate based on her moodiness, apathy and lack of organization. Any attempts to talk to her by my husband and I are met with silence and apathy.

Posted by

on
In 1992, week 30 of my first pregnancy, I was diagnosed with pre term labor. I was put on bed rest and oral terbutaline. Unfortunately, I do not have records to show the amounts that I took. We lived in a rural area, young conservative doctor who told me this was a better choice than an emergency jet to an infant intensive care unit, so I did as instructed. Dr. let me quit taking the terbutaline at 36 weeks, and I did not go into labor until 41.5 weeks! Gave birth to an apparently healthy girl, except for a funny shaped scull.
She is fine cognitively, however, she never crawled as a baby, and has always had slower motor skills. She also has barely any sense of smell. She was always very cautious as a child, not taking risks that other kids took.
She is turning 21 today, she is beautiful and smart, a hard working college student.
I haven't yet shared with her the story of the terbutaline because for one thing I did not have enough information, and for another, I never wanted to insinuate that she had deficiencies. Because really, the three things I wonder if the terbutaline affected were her scull shape, lack of sense of smell, and her lacking motor skills. She has had two surgeries to repair broken bones from bicycle accidents this past year! I feel so badly for her, because she was finally really pushing herself to keep up physically with her peers, and had two terrible accidents.
My second pregnancy two years later, I also had pre term labor staring at 16 weeks. I did strict bedrest, no terbutaline, got up at 36 weeks, and gave birth at 36.5 to a healthy boy.
It sounds like terbutaline is not being prescribed for this off label use any more, but if it is, I would discourage its use.
I would love to know more about the long term affects of terbutaline on the babies.

Posted by

on
I have three children... The oldest (21), I did not take Terbutaline/Brethine with at all... he has no gastrointestinal issues.

My second child, another son (15) I was placed on Brethine at 20 weeks till I delivered at 38 weeks after discontinuation of the Brethine. He has had severe gastrointestinal issues and has asthma- he has been on Nexium since her was 7.

My third child, a daughter (12).. I was placed on Brethine at 19 weeks till I delivered at 38 weeks. She also has had SEVERE reflux, GI disturbances/pain since birth! She has been on some type of proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) since 2 weeks of age.

I have talked to several mothers who were also on Brethine for pre-term labor, and EVERYONE of them tell of some sort of GI issues...I can't help but think that the Brethine was the cause.

Posted by

on
I was on this with all 3 of my kids, my mouth and injection and by pump with my third. My oldest has asthma, OCD and anxiety, gastrointestinal problems and severe ADHD. My son is PDD-NOS, speech problems, sensory processing disorder, ADD, and anxiety. My third who I was on the medication the longest and highest doses with has severe ADHD, and some possible auditory processing problems, and asthma.

I have had several medical problems since the birth of my third child. Including non- cardiac chest pains, trouble swallowing, restless legs, cluster headaches. I also had an emergency while using the pump in which my throat closed up and my heart rate went above 190bpm, I was home alone with my other 2 children and the pump administrators had me turn off the pump immediately but when my ob/gyn found out he ordered it turned back on a full dosage. Crazy! I have been searching for confirmation since 2007, I am so glad it is finally getting some recognition.

Posted by

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My daughter is 20 and has a serious clinical depression with generalized anxiety disorder. I was put on terbutaline at 22 weeks and stayed on it until week 38. She was born healthy, and was a happy child until age 12. Prior to her diagnosis of depression she was in a reading recovery group, and never did well in school. She just never seemed to engage in her education despite outside intervention. She is on medicine and is seen regularly by a psychiatrist and therapist, but we see no improvement...she was the only child I took this medication with. My first daughter was born 6 weeks early, and the 2nd daughter was born full term after 10 weeks on bedrest with no medication to stop preterm labor. We do have a family history of depressive illnesses, but my youngest seems to be in much worse shape than her sisters...could the terbutaline be the cause?

Posted by

on
I took terbutaline in pill form and infusion pump for 3 1/2 months. My son is 22 years old and a senior in college. However at 5 weeks had surgery for pyloric stenosis, constant academic issues, being able to pay attention in school and he just processes info differently than other kids, recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, scoliosis, constant what appears to be allergies but nothing shows up on tests....my husband and myself do not have anyof these issues...dont get me wrong without this medication he would probablynot be here but it seems strange to me a 22 yearold should have all these issues?

Posted by

on
I advise pregnant women not to use the drug. Though signs of no apparent affects may show immediately upon birth; there are chldren out ther suffering with unknown cognitive disorders ranging from bi-polor; schzaphrenia, learning diabilities, etc, and have not been detected in relation to the trabutaline. My daughter, age 20, has been suffering from a range of emotional and agressive behavior since age 2 but was never thoroughly accessed or diagnosed; though as her mother, I have been often questioning the root of this behavior. I have been concerned for her mental well being as the older she gets, she appears to be worse. I have not been able to afford the care or treatment she may need. My life has been a lot of praying, crying, and trying to savie my child from ruining her life and future due to her emotional disturbances.

Please...DO NOT TAKE THIS DRUG if you are pregnant. What may seem like a healthy baby to the eyes willl later turn up with some form, whether major or minor, of cognitive dispostion for your child.

Posted by

on
This information is quite disturbing yet it is an answer that I have been searching for years for my now 20 old daughter who has had a history of emotional disorders and behavior agresssion. She has been in and out of therapy on many occassions but was never diagnosed with any disorder. I have prayed, cried, and been torn when she has shown explosive behavior patterns that appear to be linked to a bi-polor type disorder; yet no one ever thoroughly assessed her deep enough to diagnose her. I have often felt something was deeply rooted in her behavior. At the age of 20 and with more recent problems of emotional disturbances, nearly killing herself in an auto accident and often threatening sucide, I began looking for answers and ran into these posts and articles regarding the trabutaline studies, I too was perscribled tributalane at 6 months of pregnancy due to pre-term labor and stayed on it for quite sometime. I believe my daughter shows signs of a cognitive disorder that was never accessed and because of it, I have not been able to get her the help she needed.

Now that I have a suspicion, I will get her the need help. She now suffers from panick attacks that is not associated to any trauma in her life.

It is now too late to get the compensation but I can now definitely get her some help before its too late!

Posted by

on
This is a very disturbing to me. I was on Brethine 5 mg every 4hrs with my first son. Started the brethine around 24 weeks until 36 weeks. He is fine. Born at 38 weeks,that was 01/02. He has asthma.
My second son, I was placed on brethine subcutaneous continuous pump at around 22 weeks. Home monitoring and bed rest. I also saw a perinatal doctor with this pregnancy. I had him at 36 weeks, a few days after I discontinued the brethine. Things have seemed normal until he turned 6. We found out he has a dental condition. Brittlle teeth and no enamel. He is prone to cavities. He is very irritable. He has always seemed a little withdrawn.
My third child, my daughter, had trisomy 13. She passed 3 days after birth. I was on brethine sq continuous pump by 20 weeks. Home monitoring. I saw a perinatologist during pregnancy. Told I was having a well baby. Learned of my daughters condition after she was born. Born at 34 weeks in 08/05
My fourth child, my son was at twin. I was diagnosed with vanishing twin syndrome. I was placed on bedrest by 10 wks. Started on brethine sq continuous pump by 18-20 wks. He was born at 35 weeks. He is fine. He has asthma.

Posted by

on
I injected myself with terbutaline for 3 months while pregnant with my daughter back in 1992. My mother who has now passed told me several times to investigate the drug after seeing my daughter having problems and I have had tachardia. I am just blown away after reading stories on this drug many years later

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