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Terbutaline in Pregnancy Can Lead to Side Effects

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Bethesda, MDThe use of terbutaline in pregnancy to prevent preterm labor has been linked to maternal heart problems, but using the medication to treat breathing problems can also lead to potential side effects, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

span itemprop="image" itemscope itemtype="" style="display:block">Terbutaline, which comes either in tablet or aerosol form, is typically taken to help prevent wheezing, shortness of breath and other breathing problems that can be caused by conditions such as chronic bronchitis or asthma.

According to the NCBI, the medication is used to control such symptoms, but not to cure the conditions. Patients are advised to continue taking the medication even if they feel well.

Side effects of the medication can include nervousness, headache, upset stomach or chest pain, according to the NCBI.

In February, the US Food and Drug Administration warned that "injectable terbutaline should not be used in pregnant women for prevention or prolonged treatment (beyond 48–72 hours) of preterm labor in either the hospital or outpatient setting because of the potential for serious maternal heart problems and death," according to a release from the agency.


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