Brethine may be prescribed for the treatment of asthma or emphysema. The medicine is approved for use in both adults and children as young as 12 years old. On occasion, a healthcare provider may prescribe Brethine "off-label" for something other than the conditions mentioned above. Among these potential off-label Brethine uses is the treatment of preterm labor.
Brethine® (terbutaline sulfate) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of asthma and emphysema.
Brethine for Asthma
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating (see Asthma Triggers). When the airways react, they narrow and less air flows to your lungs. This is called bronchospasm. It causes asthma symptoms like wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), coughing, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, asthma can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, including fast-acting "rescue medications" for treating an asthma attack and longer-acting "controller medications" used to prevent asthma attacks. Because it does not work rapidly, Brethine is a controller medication, used to help prevent asthma attacks (but not to treat an attack). Everyone who takes Brethine for asthma should also have a rescue medication (such as an albuterol inhaler) available for emergencies.