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Old 07-11-2011, 07:58 PM   #1
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Terbutaline to prevent preterm labor?

I am almost 32 weeks and have been having regular contractions since Thursday (sometimes every 10-15 minutes for a couple of hours).

Went to the doctor today and he did a pelvic exam. No dialation yet. U/S tomorrow with my high risk doctor to check my placenta previa.

The doctor prescribed terbutaline to slow down/stop contractions but the information packet from the pharmacist specifically said that it should NOT be used to prevent preterm labor as it is more harmful to the mother than beneficial.
"The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also discourages the use of terbutaline for preventing preterm labor." EEEEeeek!

Anyone ever take this? I made the mistake of taking one before reading the info and now I'm concerned.

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Old 07-12-2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: Terbutaline to prevent preterm labor?

The other drugs I know of are tons of magnesium or Procardia (nifedipine). You could check the warnings on those and see if it's the same. Most drugs aren't approved for pregnancy because it's a huge risk for the manufacturer to take.

From experience and what the nurses told me is normal, magnesium will make you feel like you have the worst flu ever and spike your temp. I'm generally happy with the a/c at 80 degrees, my hospital room was at 60 and I was still wanting to strip off my robe and lay on the tile floor. I was also on so much that it effected DS respiration rate for a day.

The Procardia I only took one double dose of. The hospital I was transported to didn't want to keep me on it. I am not sure why.

---------edit------------------
Noticed the time stamp. How did your appointment go today?

http://www.webmd.com/baby/nifedipine-for-preterm-labor

http://www.webmd.com/baby/beta-sympa...-preterm-labor

http://www.webmd.com/baby/magnesium-...-preterm-labor
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:15 PM   #3
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I had never heard this warning. In fact I had always understood that terbutaline was one of the safer drugs for PTL? FYI, terbutaline just relaxes your smooth muscles(your uterus is smooth muscle), it's original use was an asthma drug (your lungs are the same kind of muscle as your uterus), it just didn't work as well as some others, so it's not used for asthma much anymore.
In fact, I wonder if the reason for the warning is just because technically the use of it for PTL is off label?
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: Terbutaline to prevent preterm labor?

I'm not really sure.... My friend that's 4 weeks behind me is a nurse and she's checking it out with the doctors in her staff.

Appointment went well. My cervix is still long, 6cm (which is AMAZING since I've has TWO LEEPS). Cervix is closed as well.

The U/S tech didn't seem to know what to tell me about my previa though...."it's either marginal or complete previa." Well, which one is it!? She's also the one that doesn't explain things while she's doing an exam, I have to ask her questions.

Only 3 contractions today. It's 110 degrees today so LOTS of water.

Anyone else been on terbutaline? The first line of info on the prescription was: Tertutaline should not be used to prevent or treat early labor, since it has risks to the mother that are greater than the benefits."
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #5
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Around here, terb. is more often called brethine. I was given tons of it. It sucks but it works. Typical protocol for acute PTL is three shots 30 minutes apart ad long as maternal pulse stays under 140 and baby looks ok on monitor. I never made it to shot 3 because my heart rate would get too high but for a few days, just the two would slow my contractions down considerably. I don't have any experience with it by mouth.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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Re: Terbutaline to prevent preterm labor?

I hate terb. And I don't find it particularly helpful. But my kids and I are fine. With a cervix that long, I'd skip it. My cervix was funneling and 1.5 or less most of my second pregnancy.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:44 PM   #7
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Re: Terbutaline to prevent preterm labor?

I was on a terb pump with my 3yr old....I started on it at 25wks and continued on it for 11 more weeks. I never went without it during the whole 11wks, it was continious.....and other than making me very shaky I never had any problems and it was VERY effective in stopping labor (I stopped it on a Thursday and had her Saturday)
She has not had any side effects from it either.... she is actually the smartest so far out of all of my kids LOL..... and was born healthy, no probs at all, at 36wks.
Hoping your little one holds out a little longer.... both of my last 2 were early (36wks and 35wks)
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:53 PM   #8
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Re: Terbutaline to prevent preterm labor?

Can you get a fetal fibronectin test (google it). I wouldn't mess around with true PTL, but if your contractions aren't doing anything, then I wouldn't rush to medicate either.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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Re: Terbutaline to prevent preterm labor?

If you aren't changing then you are fine.

Terb is gross - I would avoid it - LOL.

It is used to stop preterm labor - by stopping/interrupting the contractions. At this it is proved effective. Weeks and weeks of terb hasn't been proven to be statistically effective.

The main use of it is short-term - to stop the waves of contractions.

LOL - My brother is an OB and I read all of his journals/magazines (I have had two preterm pregnancies and so it is an area of interest for me).

But having a 6 cervix - that rocks! The LONGEST mine has ever been is almost 4 - at like 6 weeks.

I would just want to be monitored more if the contractions continue.

As long as your cervix stays unchanged, and baby is feeling good - the contractions are meaningless.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:20 PM   #10
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Re: Terbutaline to prevent preterm labor?

Thanks for the helpful/informational responses. My doctor did a fetal fibro... test yesterday and we'll get the results by my Friday appointment.

I've had about 11 contractions today, which isn't too bad. Nothing regular either. I only took the terb yesterday afternoon and have just been keeping hydrated.

Again, thanks for all the info!
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