Comparison of terbutaline and salbutamol inhalation in children with mild or moderate acute exacerbation of asthma

Indian J Pediatr. 2004 Nov;71(11):961-3. doi: 10.1007/BF02828104.


Objective: To compare the clinical efficacy and side effects of terbutaline and salbutamol administered by metered dose inhaler and holding chamber in the mild to moderate acute exacerbations of asthma in children.

Methods: The study subjects were children in the age group of 5- 15 years who presented with a mild or moderate acute exacerbation of asthma. Baseline assessment included clinical parameters and spirometry. The children were then randomized to receive salbutamol or terbutaline. Three puffs each of either 100 mcg salbutamol or 250 mcg of terbutaline were administered using 750 ml holding chamber with valve. Thirty minutes after drug administration, the children were reevaluated for clinical parameters and spirometry.

Results: Of the total 60 subjects studied, 31 were administered terbutaline and 29 salbutamol. The baseline spirometric parameters were comparable. After drug administration, all the studied variables showed significant improvement within each group. However, there were no statistically significant differences when the two groups were compared with each other. There was no significant difference in the side effects between two groups.

Conclusion: Terbutaline and salbutamol, when administered by MDI with holding chamber, are equally efficacious in children with mild or moderate acute exacerbation of asthma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Albuterol / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Probability
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spirometry
  • Terbutaline / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Terbutaline
  • Albuterol