Are you a Health Professional? Jump over to the doctors only platform. Click Here


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Generic Name: Beractant
Product Name: Survanta


Survanta is used to prevent and treat lung disease in infants born prematurely (before 36 weeks gestation). This disease is known as Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS). As a result of premature birth, a baby’s lungs are immature. Breathing is therefore harder for a premature baby compared to a baby born to term.


Survanta is a suspension of special proteins in liquid known as surfactant. The proteins in Survanta help keep the small lung spaces (alveoli) open and reduce the work of breathing. All animals have some form of natural surfactant in their lungs. In premature infants, there may not be enough natural surfactant made by their lungs at birth. A drug such as Survanta will help to keep the alveoli open by reducing the lung’s surface tension. (Surface tension is the pressure outside which is pushing in on the lungs and forcing them to close). Lower surface tension means it easier for the infant to get air into their lungs and breathe.

Dose advice

Survanta is a liquid suspension. Neonatal doctors will give this through a baby’s breathing tube to some infants that weigh less than 1250g or if an infant has breathing difficulties. Additional doses may need to be given over the following 48 hours.



Common side effects

Survanta commonly causes noisy breathing for a short time when it is put into a baby’s breathing tube. In 12% of infants, Survanta can cause the heart to beat more slowly for a short time when it is given. In 10% of children their oxygen levels can fall whilst the drug is being given. In both of these cases the effect will resolve after a short time. The infant may need to be closely monitored by machines and a nurse/doctor during this time.

Uncommon side effects

In rare cases Survanta can cause low blood pressure or blockage of the baby’s breathing tube. This occurs in less than 1% of cases. It may mean that doctors/nurses may need to resuscitate the baby further. Although this may be scary for parents, these problems are very uncommon. It will only be given under the supervision of a doctor and the infant will be monitored for any signs of distress. There are other uncommon side effects of prematurity which can be serious for an infant. However none of these are related to Survanta.


    1. Survanta. Product Information: Therapeutic Guidelines Australia. 1994 (amended 9 May 1995) Abbot Australia Pty Ltd.
    2. Australian Medicines Handbook. BERACTANT. [Monograph online] AMH Pty Ltd 2007. [Cited arch 18, 2007]
    3. Survanta. MIMS Online. [Monograph online] MIMS Australia Pty Ltd 2003. [Cited March 18, 2007] http://www.mims/

For further information talk to your doctor.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Posted On: 10 April, 2007
Modified On: 18 April, 2007

Created by: myVMC