Bambuterol (top),
and (R)-bambuterol (bottom)
Clinical data
AHFS/ International Drug Names
  • Unknown
Routes of
Oral (tablets)
ATC code R03CC12 (WHO)
Legal status
Legal status
  • ℞ (Prescription only)
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 20%
Metabolism Extensive hepatic.
Further metabolized to terbutaline by plasma cholinesterase
Biological half-life 13 hours (bambuterol)
21 hours (terbutaline)
Excretion Renal
CAS Number 81732-46-9 YesY
PubChem (CID) 54766
DrugBank DB01408 N
ChemSpider 49466 YesY
KEGG D07377 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:553827 N
Chemical and physical data
Formula C18H29N3O5
Molar mass 367.44 g/mol
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
Chirality Racemic mixture
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Bambuterol (INN) is a long-acting β adrenoceptor agonist (LABA) used in the treatment of asthma; it also is a prodrug of terbutaline. Commercially, the AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company produces and markets bambuterol as Bambec and Oxeol.[1]

It is not available in the U.S.


As other LABAs, bambuterol is used in the long-term management of persistent asthma.[1] It should not be used as a rescue medication for short-term relief of asthma symptoms.


Bambuterol is contraindicated in pregnancy and in people with seriously impaired liver function. It can be used by people with renal impairment, but dose adjustments are necessary.[1]

Adverse effects

The adverse effect profile of bambuterol is similar to that of salbutamol, and may include fatigue, nausea, palpitations, headache, dizziness and tremor.[1]


Concomitant administration of bambuterol with corticosteroids, diuretics, and xanthine derivatives (such as theophylline) increases the risk of hypokalemia (decreased levels of potassium in the blood).[2]

Bambuterol acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor, and can prolong the duration of action of suxamethonium (succinylcholine) and other drugs whose breakdown in the body depends on cholinesterase function.[1] Butyrylcholinesterase activity returns to normal approximately two weeks after bambuterol is stopped.[3] It can also enhance the effects of non-depolarizing neuromuscular blockers, such as vecuronium bromide.[2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Sweetman, Sean C., ed. (2009). "Bronchodilators and Anti-asthma Drugs". Martindale: The complete drug reference (36th ed.). London: Pharmaceutical Press. pp. 1115–16. ISBN 978-0-85369-840-1.
  2. 1 2 Sweetman (2009), pp. 1132–33.
  3. Sitar DS (October 1996). "Clinical pharmacokinetics of bambuterol". Clin Pharmacokinet. 31 (4): 246–56. doi:10.2165/00003088-199631040-00002. PMID 8896942.
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