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December 24, 2015

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Exclusive Report - Breaking News: Study links combination of pre-natal stress and terbutaline to autism and epilepsy
Interventions and Therapies
Newsletter Archive

Editor's comments: Here we are almost 20 years after the FDA warned doctors that the terbutaline pump had not been demonstrated to be effective and was potentially dangerous. Note that intravenous magnesium sulfate, used frequently prior to the terbutaline intervention, was also declared ineffective with no benefit in preventing preterm or very preterm birth (published in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists October 2006 newsletter).

Ten years ago, in August of 2005, we ran the transcript of my radio interview on Terbutaline and Autism. On February 25, 2011, we ran a SPECIAL ALERT article, Safety Alert by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Terbutaline: Label Change - Warnings Against Use for Treatment of Preterm Labor.

In the 2005 interview, I pointed out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had not approved the use of terbutaline to prevent premature labor. Then, in 1997, the FDA warned doctors that the terbutaline pump has not been demonstrated to be effective and is potentially dangerous. In 2002, 63 per cent of the more than 392,000 prescriptions for terbutaline pills were for pregnant women.

The full transcript of the interview includes the Zimmerman/Connors Johns Hopkins study, as well as the Rhodes and Duke University study.

The research team from Duke found that rats exposed to the pre-term labor drug terbutaline caused damage to brain regions known to play a role in learning and memory. The researchers report that the drug revealed structural abnormalities in the cerebellum and hippocampus.

Additional links:
Terbutaline is a developmental neurotoxicant: effects on neuroproteins and morphology in cerebellum, hippocampus, and somatosensory cortex.

In utero beta 2 adrenergic agonist exposure and adverse neurophysiologic and behavioral outcomes

Magnesium sulfate is ineffective as a tocolytic (even in delaying labor for the short time needed to administer corticosteroids

Terbutaline: Label Change - Warnings Against Use for Treatment of Preterm Labor

Methodology, management of pre-term labor

WeeklyNews Archive


Study links combination of pre-natal stress and terbutaline to autism and epilepsy

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered that a combination of pre-natal stress and an unapproved pre-term labor medication called terbutaline may create a higher risk for the co-development of autism and epilepsy based on test results involving laboratory rats.

"What we're finding is that these environmental factors, stress and then combined with another drug can in and of itself, without any genetics, cause autism and epilepsy," said Daniel Barth, professor of neuroscience at CU Boulder.

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Interventions and Therapies

"Our goal should be to help persons with autism understand and use their strengths to work around any presenting challenges so they, just like everyone else, has an equal chance at living a fulfilling and productive life".
- Stephen M. Shore, EdD (USAAA Advisory Board Member)

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