• In a double-blind dose response study in 26 children, 3, 6, or 12 μg/kg of terbutaline sulfate was compared with 10 μg/kg of epinephrine administered subcutaneously. In the first hour after subtion, all doses of terbutaline and epinephrine resulted in improvement in mean clinical score, mean forced vital capacity, mean forced expiratory volume in the first second, and mean forced expiratory flow from 25% to 75% of vital capacity. Terbutaline was not significantly more effective than epinephrine. However, while adverse effects following terbutaline were clinically imperceptible, epinephrine produced unpleasant headache and excitement in a few patients. Terbutaline did not change mean PaO2 or PaCO2 significantly in a subgroup of patients. The 12 μg/kg dose of terbutaline was superior to 3 or 6 μg/kg in relieving obstruction to airflow measured at the midportion of the vital capacity. This dose caused tremor in some children, but the tremor was not apparent to patients or their parents.
(Am J Dis Child 1981;135:214-217)