Medicine update 9/2/2021 


People with asthma are advised to carry reliever medicine with them. Relievers bring quick relief by relaxing the tight muscles around the airways which is one of the causes of asthma symptoms.   

A new version of the existing reliever medication Bricanyl {Terbutaline) Turbuhaler has been developed in Australia. We want to inform and empower you to know your options and make the best choices for you and your family.  


Bricanyl Turbuhaler
Bricanyl Turbuhaler




Bricanyl Turbuhaler is a reliever inhaler available by prescription and over the counter when provided by a pharmacist in a pharmacy. It should be used as directed by your doctor or pharmacist to treat asthma symptoms. Like other reliever inhalers, Bricanyl works within minutes by relaxing the tight muscles around your airways and relieving symptoms.   

It may also be prescribed to treat asthma which is worse during exercise (exercise induced asthma) or in an asthma first aid situation.   

As a dry powder inhaler, the Bricanyl Turbuhaler is usually only recommended for people with asthma five years or older. Please refer to our medications and devices information brochure for instructions on how to use your Bricanyl Turbuhaler. We always encourage you to ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your inhaler device technique, and to do this at least once per year.  

Reliever inhalers should only be needed infrequently to relieve symptoms that breakthrough despite an optimum asthma management plan which includes the regular use of preventers. If you find you need your inhaler more than two days per week, this could be a sign that your asthma is not well controlled and you should see your doctor for an asthma review.   


A new Bricanyl Turbuhaler was introduced in Australia on February 1. 1 

The new Bricanyl Turbuhaler device has been redesigned with:   

  • A numerical dose counter   
  • This will give people with asthma clarity around how much medicine is in their device, so they know exactly when to replace it  
  • A different mouthpiece  
  • It may feel easier to use for some people with asthma  
  • New package labelling  
  • Addition of lactose as an inactive ingredient  
  • A new pack size with 120 doses (previously packs contained 100 doses)  
  • The device will last longer, needing to replaced less frequently.  

People with asthma and a known allergy to lactose are advised not to use Bricanyl.   


If you have been using Bricanyl Turbuhaler as your reliever, this change should not affect you significantly, unless you are allergic to lactose in which case you advised not to use it.  

If Bricanyl is part of your asthma management plan, this might be a good time to arrange a review with your doctor and update your Written Asthma Action Plan to ensure you have clear and manageable instructions around what to do in case of worsening asthma – this should include at a minimum how to adjust your reliever dose, whether and how to adjust your preventer dose and when to contact your doctor.  


Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how to use your inhaler.  

Usually, adults will be told to take 1 inhalation to treat their symptoms. They may take up to 3 inhalations in case of severe symptoms.  

Children (over 5 years) will also be told to take 1 inhalation in case of symptoms and up to 2 inhalations if severe.  

Adults should not use more than 12 inhalations and children not more than 8 in a 24 hour period. ii   

In case of an episode of severe symptoms, follow Asthma First Aid and dial triple zero (000) for emergency assistance. 


  1. Unscrew and lift off cap  
  1. Hold Turbuhaler upright, twist coloured base around all the way, and then back all the way (you can use a level surface to make sure it stays upright during this step)  
  1. Breathe out gently away from the Turbuhaler (do not blow into it)  
  1. Put the mouthpiece in mouth ensuring a good seal is formed with lips, breathe in through mouth forcefully and deeply, remove Turbuhaler from the mouth and hold breath for 5 seconds or as long as is comfortable  
  1. Breathe out gently away from Turbuhaler, to take more medication repeat steps 2-4, replace the cap.  

Other important points: iii  

  • The manufacturer recommends rinsing and spitting after using Bricanyl  
  • Always keep the Turbuhaler dry and clean by wiping with a dry tissue  
  • Try to keep your device in a cool, dry place  
  • Keep an eye on the dose counter and see your doctor or pharmacist for a replacement when it’s low. We would recommend urgently replacing when the counter is on 20 to ensure you don’t run out.  



  • The manufacturer of Bricanyl has updated the device but your prescription or routine should not change unless you are allergic to lactose  
  • Bricanyl Turbuhaler reliever is only recommended to be used to relieve symptoms  
  • In case symptoms are frequent or severe, you should see a doctor urgently  
  • An easy way to think about this is if you are needing your Bricanyl reliever more than two days per week  
  • Ensure your written Asthma Action Plan is current and you can understand and follow it  
  • Bricanyl can be used in exercise-induced asthma when prescribed by your doctor and may be used in an asthma first aid situation  
  • Bricanyl can be prescribed by your doctor under certain circumstances and otherwise may be purchased over the counter when provided by a pharmacist in a pharmacy.  

Want to know more? 

For more information about Bricanyl Turbuhaler or to speak with an Asthma Educator about your asthma, call 1800 ASTHMA (1800 276 462).  



i Astra Zeneca, 2021, Bricanyl Turbuhaler consumer medicine information; and information provided directly by email   

ii Astra Zeneca, 2021, Bricanyl Turbuhaler product information  

iii Astra Zeneca, 2021, Bricanyl Turbuhaler consumer medicine information