Is there a need to treat hypokalaemia associated with intravenous salbutamol infusion?

S. Chua, K. Razvi, M. T. Wong, R. Tay, S. Arulkumaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate the evolution of metabolic effects associated with intravenous salbutamol infusion given together with 2 doses of intramuscular steroids in the treatment of preterm labour Methods: Preterm labour was inhibited with an intravenous infusion of salbutamol in 8 women between 26 and 32+6 weeks with normal singleton pregnancies. Serum glucose concentration, serum potassium, sodium and insulin concentrations, and total white cell count both during the infusion as well as post-therapy, were plotted against time. Results: Intravenous salbutamol infusion administered at a rate required to inhibit uterine contractions in preterm labour causes a rise in serum glucose and plasma insulin concentrations. The serum glucose and plasma insulin levels peaked soon after cessation of therapy and took 2-3 hours to come to pre-infusion levels. The decline in serum potassium concentration was gradual and plateaued after 2 hours. Once the salbutamol infusion was stopped the potassium levels were back to normal by 2 hours. There is an increase in total white cell count within an hour of the initiation of therapy. Conclusion: There is no need to administer insulin for hyperglycemia and/or potassium for hpyokalaemia unless the patient is a known diabetic or when a patient needs immediate surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • Hyperglycaemia
  • Hypokalaemia
  • Infusion
  • Preterm labour


Dive into the research topics of 'Is there a need to treat hypokalaemia associated with intravenous salbutamol infusion?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this