Last update Sept. 2, 2022


Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

Fenoterol is a direct-acting sympathomimetic with beta2 adrenergic agonist activity. It is used as a bronchodilator in asthma and in the treatment of preterm labor. Oral, inhaled or intravenous administration.

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.

Its very low oral bioavailability, 2% (Hochhaus 1992), minimizes the passage into plasma of the infant from ingested breast milk, except in the premature and in the immediate neonatal period in which there may be greater intestinal permeability.

Other bronchodilators with similar structure and properties, such as terbutaline, are excreted in negligible amounts in breast milk.

Fenoterol administration in preterm labor has no effect on the secretory concentration of IgA in breast milk. (Martell 1985)



  • Albuterol (Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.)
  • Terbutaline Sulfate (Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Fenoterol is also known as

Fenoterol in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Fenoterol in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 2 %
Molecular weight 303 daltons
VD 0.7 - 1.2 l/Kg
pKa 8.85 -
Tmax 2 hours
0.25 - 0.9 hours


  1. Warnke K, Hildebrandt R, Günther K, Langen U, Gundert-Remy U. The pharmacokinetics of the beta 2-adrenoceptor agonist fenoterol in healthy women. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1992 Abstract
  2. Hochhaus G, Möllmann H. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic characteristics of the beta-2-agonists terbutaline, salbutamol and fenoterol. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol. 1992 Abstract
  3. Svedmyr N. Fenoterol: a beta2-adrenergic agonist for use in asthma. Pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy and adverse effects. Pharmacotherapy. 1985 Abstract
  4. Martell M, Oehninger C, Scotti C, Delgado L, Martĭnez M, Korc I. Influence of glucocorticoid and betamimetic therapy on milk secretory IgA concentration produced by mothers delivering preterm infants. J Perinat Med. 1985;13(2):61-5. Abstract

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