• Short term reliever inhaler
  • Provides effective relief from the symptoms of Asthma
  • Fast acting and long lasting
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What is Bricanyl (Terbutaline) Inhaler?

A Bricanyl Turbohaler provides effective, short-term treatment for the symptoms of asthma.

Bricanyl is a type of Terbutaline Inhaler, because of its active ingredient, it is commonly used reliever inhaler due to the instant relief it offers for asthma symptoms.

Terbutaline belongs to a group of medicines called bronchodilators which open the airways and allow air to pass through the airways into the lungs more freely.

Terbutaline is a very fast acting medicine and is highly effective when taken in the sudden event of an asthma attack.

What is Bricanyl Inhaler used to treat?

The Bricanyl Turbohaler is an effective asthma treatment designed to relax the muscles in the airways to the lungs, making it easier for the sufferer to breathe.

It is a breath-actuated dry powder inhaler, meaning it is easier to use compared to other inhalers, which require you to time your pressing and inhale precisely.

It contains the active ingredient terbutaline sulphate, which can ease your asthma in just five minutes, and the effects of the medicine can last for up to six hours after you have used the inhaler.

How does Bricanyl inhaler work?

Terbutaline is a fast acting bronchodilator, when inhaled will start to work within just 15 minutes. Its effects can last for up to 6 hours. 

Terbutaline works by stimulating the beta2-adrenoceptor in the airways and as a result causes the airways to the lungs to widen. This allows air to pass through to the lungs unrestricted and makes breathing easier. 

Bricanyl inhaler can help with sudden asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and breathlessness, it should be taken as soon as asthma symptoms appear.

How to use your Bricanyl inhaler

To prepare your Bricanyl Turbohaler, take the blue grip at the bottom of the inhaler and rotate it fully in one direction, then do the same in the opposite direction. You will hear a click when you have done this, which means your inhaler is ready to be used.

Exhale fully and put the mouthpiece in your mouth. Take one deep breath to inhale the medicine; inhale for as long as you can. Breathe out gently. Your asthma symptoms should begin to ease after a few minutes once your airways start to open again.

After taking a dose, you should rinse your mouth with water to prevent any of the medicine from being absorbed by your throat or mouth.

It is important that you remember to always keep your Bricanyl with you, both when you are at home and when you go out. An asthma attack can occur without warning, so you should always have your inhaler within close reach.

We recommend watching "how to use your Turbohaler" by MedicinesOrgUK.

Who can use Bricanyl?

The Bricanyl Turbohaler is an effective treatment for relieving the symptoms of asthma, but it may not be suitable for everyone to use.

Do not use a Bricanyl inhaler without speaking to your doctor first if you have any of the following conditions:

  • You are allergic to terbutaline or any of the other ingredients contained in this medicine
  • You have a history of heart disease, angina, or an irregular heart rhythm
  • You have an overactive thyroid gland
  • You have diabetes
  • You have an intolerance to certain types of sugars

Terbutaline Possible Side Effects

As with all medications, Bricanyl comes with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone will experience them.

Common side effects of using a Bricanyl inhaler include:

  • Headaches
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Cramps or feeling tense
  • A pounding or rapid heartbeat
  • Lower levels of potassium in your blood – may cause thirst, muscle weakness, or pins and needles

You should contact your doctor if any of these adverse effects bother you or do not go away.

This list is not exhaustive; please refer to the Side Effects tab on this page for a list of rarer and more serious reactions you may experience while using this treatment.

Bricanyl (Terbutaline) vs Ventolin (Salbutamol)

Both Bricanyl and Ventolin are fast acting bronchodilators and provide instant relief from asthma symptoms. Both inhalers are reliever inhalers, however they both contain completely different active ingredients. 

Whilst Bricanyl contains Terbutaline, Ventolin inhaler, the more well-known of the two, contains salbutamol.

Studies have shown that Ventolin provides greater bronchodilation in the first hour after inhalation than terbutaline. However, both inhalers provided equally effective bronchodilation over a 4-hour period.

Can you buy Bricanyl inhaler online?

Yes, you can buy Bricanyl inhaler online, however; you will be required to complete an online health consultation so a doctor or healthcare professional can assess your condition and ensure you are receiving the most suitable treatment.

When buying medicines online it is important to ensure you are doing so from a fully regulated online pharmacy such as Medicine Direct. You can learn more about our company, team, medical professionals, and the licenses we hold on our about us page.

Bricanyl Indications and Dose

Our doctors and pharmacist prescribe Bricanyl in accordance with NICE prescribing guidelines. 

Always use the Bricanyl Turbohaler exactly as instructed by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start to use it. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of how to take your Bricanyl inhaler.

Use your Bricanyl Turbohaler as required, but you should not take more than four doses in a single 24 hour period.

When to speak to your doctor

You should speak to your doctor straight away if any of the below symptoms occur; you may require a different treatment for your asthma:

  • Your breathing is getting worse
  • Your current dose of Bricanyl is not relieving your asthma symptoms
  • You start to have tightness in the chest
  • You often wake up in the night because of your asthma

Should I use Bricanyl during an asthma attack?

Yes, a bricanyl inhaler is fast acting and will instantly relieve breathing difficulties during an asthma attack.

How quickly does Bricanyl start to work?

Bricanyl gets to work immediately after inhaling.

How often should I use my inhaler?

You should use your inhaler whenever you start to experience symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness, tightness of the chest.

Is it safe to use Terbutaline for a long time?

Yes, Terbutaline inhalers such as Ventolin are intended for long term use. Salbutamol does not cause any long lasting side effects.

Is Bricanyl (Terbutaline) a steroid?

No, Bricanyl (Terbutaline) is not a steroid, it is classed as a short acting bronchodilator which is used to relax the muscles in the airways.

When should I use Bricanyl?

You should use your inhaler whenever you experience symptoms of asthma, during an asthma attack, or come into contact with a known asthma trigger.

Is Bricanyl the same as Ventolin?

No, Bricanyl and Ventolin are both reliever inhalers and short acting bronchodilators, however they both have different active ingredients. Bricancyl contains Terbutaline, whereas Ventolin contains Salbutamol.

Bricanyl Serious Side Effects

The more common side effects of Bricanyl Turbohalers can be found on the main page.

Less frequent side effects of using this inhaler can include:

  • Irritation in your mouth and/or throat
  • Unusual or irregular heartbeats
  • Feeling sick
  • Changes in your sleeping pattern
  • Chest pains
  • Changes in your behaviour, such as feeling agitated or hyperactive

Speak to your doctor if you suffer from any of the above side effects while using this treatment.

Rinse your mouth after using your asthma inhaler to help lower your risk of experiencing any oral side effects.

In rare cases, it is possible to suffer from a serious allergic reaction to Bricanyl. Either call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • You have tightness in the chest or throat
  • You are wheezing
  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
  • You have swelling in your lips, throat, tongue, face, or mouth
  • You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, blistered, peeling or swollen

You may require urgent treatment in a hospital.

The above lists may not be exhaustive. Always refer to the patient information leaflet before you start to use your inhaler.

If you have any questions at all, you should discuss these with your doctor or pharmacist before you start to use the treatment.

Bricanyl Warnings and drug interactions

The Bricanyl Turbohaler may interact with other medicines and increase your risk of side effects, or become less effective.

Always ensure you inform your doctor if you are using any other asthma treatment, or medicine to treat any other ailments. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medications, herbal remedies, vitamins, or supplements.

In particular, you should be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medications:

  • Water tablets (diuretics)
  • Any beta-blockers, including eye drops
  • Any steroid medicines
  • Any medicines known as xanthines

You should also tell your doctor if you are due to have any surgery, before yb u start using Bricanyl inhalers.

For more information on Bricanyl Drug Interactions 


Bricanyl contains the sugar, lactose. If your doctor has informed you that you have an intolerance to certain types of sugars, talk to them before you start to use your inhaler.

If you have any concerns or questions at all, we strongly advise you to discuss them with your doctor before you start to use a new medication.

Never order any medicine online unless it is from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC), such as Medicine Direct.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

You should speak to your doctor before using a Bricanyl if you are currently pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant.

Similarly, if you are breastfeeding, you should make sure you tell your doctor before you start to use a Bricanyl Turbohaler.

Bricanyl Ingredients

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Terbutaline sulfate

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
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DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

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Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

This page has recently been medically reviewed by Hussain Abdeh MPharm: 2076091

Updated on: 22/06/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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