Bricanyl (terbutaline) inhaler

For people aged 6 years and over

Bricanyl terbutaline Inhaler

Use this if it is the person's normal asthma reliever

First aid using a blue/grey puffer.

Signs that someone is having an asthma attack

Shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness or wheezing

Not sure it’s asthma?

If a person stays conscious and their main problem seems to be breathing, follow the asthma first aid steps below. This medicine is unlikely to harm them even if they do not have asthma.

If someone is unconscious, follow the DRSABCD steps for life support.

How to do asthma first aid using Bricanyl inhaler

First aid Bricanyl

When to call 000 for an ambulance

Person is getting drowsy

Person looks blue around lips

The person has allergies to foods, insect stings, or medicines - more information about allergies below.

Person isn’t getting better You aren’t sure what to do

How to use Bricanyl inhaler 

  1. Unscrew cover and remove.
  2. Hold inhaler upright and twist grip around, then back.
  3. Get the person to breathe out, away from inhaler.
  4. Put mouthpiece between the person’s teeth and seal lips around it.
  5. Ask the person to take a big strong breath in.
  6. Take out of mouth. Ask the person to breathe out slowly, away from the inhaler.
  7. Repeat to give a second puff – remember to twist the grip both ways before the second puff.
  8. Replace cover.

Tremor (e.g. shaky hands) can be a side-effect of this medicine. High doses can cause rapid pulse rate. Use it as needed for asthma symptoms. After the person is breathing normally again, do not keep giving extra doses.

Asthma first aid using combination inhalers with formoterol for adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over 

Download chart.

Video: How to use Turbuhaler

Severe allergic reactions/anaphylaxis

If someone has sudden breathing problems (e.g., wheeze, cough, hoarse voice) AND they are allergic to foods, insect stings or medicines:

Call 000 for an ambulance

Give adrenaline first. Use their own autoinjector (e.g., EpiPen) if available.

Do this even if there are no other signs of an allergic reaction.

Then follow the asthma first aid steps.

Allergic reactions

Signs of mild-to-moderate allergic reaction:

·       swelling of lips, face, eyes

·       tingling mouth

·       hives or welts

·       abdominal pain, vomiting (these are signs of anaphylaxis for insect allergy)



·       difficult or noisy breathing

·       swelling of tongue

·       swelling or tightness in throat

·       wheeze or persistent cough

·       difficulty talking or hoarse voice

·       persistent dizziness or collapse

·       pale and floppy (young children)

ALWAYS GIVE ADRENALINE INJECTOR FIRST, and then asthma reliever puffer if someone with known asthma and allergy to food, insects or medication has SUDDEN BREATHING DIFFICULTY (including wheeze, persistent cough or hoarse voice), even if there are no skin symptoms.