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Terbutaline, belonging to the beta agonists class of drugs, is a bronchodilator. The medication is chiefly indicated for the treatment of bronchial disease (such as asthma, tracheobronchitis), allergic bronchitis, slow heart rate, certain lung conditions (e.g., pulmonary edema) and collapsing trachea. The active ingredient in the medication, terbutaline, works by stimulating type 2 beta-adrenergic receptors. This stimulation of beta-2 receptors makes the muscle to relax and dilates the airways and blood vessels. This action is also effective to slow down or stop premature uterine contractions and labor.
The medication should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity, high blood pressure, allergy to the drug, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, heart rhythm abnormalities or those with seizure disorders. Interaction of terbutaline with other medications cannot be ignored. The medication should be used with caution when used in animals taking thyroid supplement (L-thyroxine). Drug interactions with antidepressants and anesthetics are also reported. It is advised to inform the veterinarian or pharmacist about the medications the pet is taking. Store the medication at room temperature, away from excess heat, moisture and light.
The medication is available in 2.5 mg and 5 mg tablets and in 1 mg/ml injectable form as well as an inhaler form. The standard dosage of the injectable form for cats and dogs is 0.005 mg/lbs (0.01 mg/kg) every 4 – 6 hours. For dogs, the tablet form is dosed at 1.25 to 5 mg/dog thrice a day and 0.05 – 0.1 mg/lbs (0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg) twice a day for cats.
Bricanyl (Hoechst Marion Roussel), Brethine (Novartis)
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