Use of subcutaneous terbutaline to reverse peripheral ischemia

Am J Emerg Med. 1999 Jan;17(1):91-4. doi: 10.1016/s0735-6757(99)90028-1.


Four cases are presented, one involving extravasation of a dopamine and dobutamine solution in the arm and three involving accidental digital injection of epinephrine into the thumb. In three cases, local infiltration of terbutaline resulted in dramatic reversal of vasospasm and ischemia. In the remaining case the use of terbutaline resulted in minor clinical improvement. These are the first reported cases involving the successful treatment of peripheral ischemia with subcutaneous terbutaline. This experience suggests that terbutaline may be an effective alternative for treatment of peripheral ischemia when phentolamine is not available.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arm / blood supply*
  • Cardiotonic Agents / adverse effects
  • Dobutamine / adverse effects
  • Dopamine / adverse effects
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Epinephrine / adverse effects
  • Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Ischemia / chemically induced*
  • Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Terbutaline / therapeutic use*
  • Thumb / blood supply*
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / adverse effects


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Dobutamine
  • Terbutaline
  • Dopamine
  • Epinephrine