Table 11

Albuterol compared with terbutaline: Effectiveness outcomes of included studies

Author
Year
Outcome categoryOutcome (unit) at time pointInterventionBaselineFollow-upComments
NMean (SD) or No (%)NMean (SD) or No (%)
Adult asthma
Anani 1989SymptomsPreference, effect (number) at NRNRNRNRNRNRAlbuterol vs. terbutaline, P>0.05
Gioulekas 1996Rescue medication

Symptoms
Number of rescue treatments required

Preference, effect

Preference, overall

Preference, side effects at up to 3 weeks.

Symptom scores from diary recording daytime

Symptom scores from diary recording nighttime
Albuterol 0.4 mg TID

Terbutaline 0.5 mg TID

Albuterol 0.4mg TID
No preference
Terbutaline 0.5mg TID

Albuterol 0.4 mg TID
No preference
Terbutaline 0.5 mg TID

Albuterol 0.4 mg TID
No preference
Terbutaline 0.5 mg TID

Albuterol 0.4 mg TID
Terbutaline 0.5mg

Albuterol 0.4 mg TID
Terbutaline 0.5 mg TID
32 (cross-over)NR258 (32%)

9 (36%)

8 ( 32%)
4 (16%)
13 (52%)

4 (16%)
10 (40$)
11(56%)

1 (4%)
14 (56%)
10 (10%)

0.55 (NR)
0.4 (NR)

0.65 (NR)
0.52 (NR)
Albuterol vs. terbutaline, P>0.05

Albuterol vs. terbutaline, P>0.05

Albuterol vs. terbutaline, P>0.05
Lindsay 1994aRescue medicationNumber of doses taken over 24 hr

Number of asthma exacerbations

Breathlessness on exertion, symptom score

Preference

Total symptom score at 4 weeks

Wheeze, symptom score at 4 weeks
Albuterol 0.1 mg BID
Terbutaline 0.5 mg BID

Albuterol 0.1 mg BID
Terbutaline 0.5 mg BID

Albuterol 0.1 mg BID
Terbutaline 0.5 mg BID

Albuterol 0.1 mg BID
No preference
Terbutaline 0.5 mg BID

Albuterol 0.1 mg BID
Terbutaline 0.5 mg BID

Albuterol 0.1 mg BID
Terbutaline 0.5 mg BID
45 (cross-over)NR
NR

NR
NR

0.6 (0.67)
0.6 (0.67)

NR
NR
NR

2.0 (2.01)
1.8 (2.01)

0.5 (0.67)
0.4 (0.67)
455.8 (2.3)
3.2 (1.6)

2 (4%)
1 (2%)

0.6 (2.68)
0.6 (0.67)

18 (39%)
8(17%)
20 (44%)

2.0 (2.01)
1.8 (2.01)

0.5 (0.67)
0.5 (0.67)
Data reported over the last 14 days of each treatment

Albuterol vs. terbutaline, mean difference: −0.03 (SD 0.34), 95% CI −0.1 to 0.1, P=0.09

Albuterol vs. terbutaline, mean difference: −0.2 (1.34), CI −0.6 to 0.2, P=0.3

Albuterol vs. terbutaline, mean difference: −0.50 (0.0), CI −0.2 to 0.1, P=0.4
Vilsvik 1993SymptomsAsthma, Symptom score evening mean

Asthma, symptom score morning, mean

Preference
Albuterol 0.1 mg, 2 doses

Terbutaline 0.5 mg
Albuterol 0.2 mg
Terbutaline 0.5 mg

Albuterol 0.1 mg, 2 doses
No preference
Terbutaline 0.5 mg
158 (cross-over)NR1580.57 (NR)

0.50 (NR)
0.77 (NR)
0.67 (NR)

39 (24.5%)
33 (20.7%)
87 (54.7%)
No rescue medication was used in either period. Albuterol vs. terbutaline, mean difference 0.07 (0.39), P<0.001.

39% favor of terbutaline. No rescue medication was used in either period; albuterol vs. terbutaline, P<0.001
Pediatric asthma
Chandra 2004SymptomsComposite Asthma Score, median (number) at 30 min

Respiratory rate (rpm) at 30 min

Wheeze score: 0 at 30 min

Wheeze score: 1at 30 min
Albuterol 100 μg
Terbutaline 250 μg

Albuterol 100 μg
Terbutaline 250 μg

Albuterol 100 μg
Terbutaline 250 μg

Albuterol 100 μg
Terbutaline 250 μg
29
31

29
31

29
31

29
31
1 (NR)
2 (NR)

26 (NR)
26 (NR)

14 (48%)
15(48%)

15 (52%)
16 (52%)
29
31

29
31

29
31

29
31
1 (NR)
1 (NR)

26 (NR)
26 (NR)

21 (72%)
24 (77%)

8 (28%)
7 (23%)
Albuterol vs. terbutaline, P=0.75

Albuterol vs. terbutaline, P=0.72

Albuterol vs. terbutaline, P=0.66
Hung 2001SymptomsRespiratory rate (rpm) at 30 minAlbuterol 0.125 mg/kg

Terbutaline 0.125 mg/kg
15

15
35.34
(3.50)

30.20
(5.12)
3027.41
(2.85)

26.1 (3.25)
Mean difference P<0.01

Mean difference: P<0.01
Oldaeus 1995Rescue medication

Symptoms
Extra inhalations, day (number)

Extra inhalations, night (number)

Asthma, symptom score day (score)

Asthma, symptom score night (score)
Albuterol 0.4 mg TID
Terbutaline 0.5 mg TID

Albuterol 0.4 mg TID
Terbutaline 0.5 mg TID

Albuterol 0.4 mg TID
Terbutaline 0.5 mg TID

Albuterol 0.4 mg TID
Terbutaline 05 mg TID
20 (cross-over)NR200.11 (.29)
0.13 (0.21)

0.10 (0.20)
0.13 (0.31)

0.11 (0.29)
0.38 (0.46)

0.47 (0.6)
0.46 (0.58)
Towns 1983SymptomsPreference (number)

Symptom score (score)
Albuterol 200 μg
No preference
Terbutaline 500 μg

Albuterol 200 μg
Terbutaline 500 μg
25 (cross-over)NR2518 (72%)
2 (8%)
5 (20%)

NR
NR
Albuterol vs. terbutaline, P> 0.05
Mean difference: P<0.05
Pediatric exercise-induced bronchospasm
Pedersen 1985Rescue medicationAminophylline required after treatment (number of patients)Albuterol 0.2 mg

Terbutaline 0.25 mg
24 (cross-over)NR

NR
245 (21%)

2 (8%)
FEV1, 5 mins and 10 mins after the first treatment:
albuterol <terbutaline, P<0.05

Breath holding periods varied from 5 to 10 s (mean 8.7 s), no significant difference

Abbreviations: BID, twice a day; NR, not reported; TID, three times a day.

a

Study population ≥ 12 years of age

From: Results

Cover of Drug Class Review: Quick-relief Medications for Asthma
Drug Class Review: Quick-relief Medications for Asthma: Final Report Update 1 [Internet].
Norris SL, McNally TK, Thakurta S.
Portland (OR): Oregon Health & Science University; 2008 Oct.
Copyright © 2008, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

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