Bricanyl Respules contain 2ml of the solution, each with 5mg (2.5mg per 1ml) of the active ingredient, terbutaline, and are designed to be applied, one or two at a time, two-four times per day, through a nebuliser and face mask or mouthpiece.
The syrup contains 0.3mg of terbutaline per 1ml, and is swallowed in 5ml (1.5mg) spoonfuls. To begin with, a doctor may suggest two spoonfuls of 5ml three times per day, increasing to three spoonfuls of 5ml three times per day if required.
Each Bricanyl tablet consists of 5mg of terbutaline sulphate. These are split into two by the user in some cases, and one half is taken three times per day. After an initial period, this may be increased to one pill three times per day.
In the turbohaler version is 0.5mg per dose. This is applied when required. One puff should remain functional for up to six hours. No more than four inhalations should be employed within any 24-hour period.
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Bricanyl is a reliever medication, which is used as and when required to alleviate symptoms associated with asthma, such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. It is available in four different applicatory methods: a respule (or respirator solution in a capsule); a syrup; a tablet; and a turbohaler. Bricanyl is made by AstraZeneca, and contains a functioning agent called terbutaline, which relaxes muscle walls in the airways when they become irritated.
- Branded medicine
- Available in 4 forms
- Effective reliever
It is thought that the NHS treats between five and six million people in the UK for asthma each year, making it a very common condition. Symptoms often occur early in the morning and late at night, but they can just as easily be initiated by the presence of an irritant. This might be smoke, the airborne residue produced by a chemical, or an allergen in the air such as pollen. It can also be triggered by physical exertion, and some cases have even been known to be brought on by emotional distress.
Asthma occurs when the small tubes which connect the windpipe (or trachea) with the lungs become inflamed. This makes the muscles which line these tubes, or bronchi, tense, and causes the airways to narrow. It can also result in the production of phlegm, which causes further aggravation and blocks the airways too.
How or why asthma occurs in some people and not others isn’t fully understood. Genes are thought to be play a role, as those who have the condition will often have a family history of it. Another factor which many experts point to is the activity of the immune system. Sensitivity to irritants in a person who has asthma may be increased, resulting in a severe immune response, thereby causing inflammation of the bronchi.
When the condition culminates in an intense episode of symptoms, it is referred to as an asthma attack. This, in most cases, will require immediate attention from a doctor, and necessitate a visit to the hospital. But for less severe episodes, treatment is available.
To maintain well-being and keep symptoms at bay, a doctor may suggest a preventer medication. This concentrates on reducing inflammation to the affected parts of the airways long-term, and may be taken at regular intervals, such as once per day. It is most often supplied in the form of a corticosteroid inhaler.
Another type of treatment is reliever medicine. This has a short-term function, and is applied when the effects of asthma, such as coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing, are being felt. Reliever treatments work straight away to soothe these symptoms, and can be used alongside preventer medications.
The functioning agent in Bricanyl, which is called terbutaline, is a beta-2 agonist. This works on beta-2 receptors in the airways to pacify tension, and reduce irritation. In doing so, the agent helps to dilate the airways, and this expedites easier breathing.
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How to use Bricanyl
Always use Bricanyl exactly as your doctor has instructed, and read the guidelines set out in the patient information leaflet fully before you use it. This is important in helping the medication to be effective, and limiting the possibility of side effects.
Take as prescribed.
For Bricanyl Respules:
- Administer one or two respules, between two and four times per day, as required.
- It is inhaled through a nebuliser, and a facemask or mouthpiece.
- Consult the patient information for more detailed instructions on how to use it.
For Bricanyl Syrup:
- In most cases, the starting dose will be two spoonfuls containing 5ml, three times per day.
- This may be increased to three spoonfuls of 5ml per day where appropriate.
For Bricanyl Tablets:
- During the first one or two weeks of treatment, the initial dose may be half a tablet taken three times per day.
- This may be raised to one tablet three times per day if your doctor deems it suitable.
- Take with water if necessary.
For Bricanyl Turbohaler:
- Apply as required. This may be one puff, or inhalation, as and when you need it, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
- Do not exceed four inhalations in any 24-hour period.
- One dose should be functional for as much as six hours.
- Specific instructions on how to use the turbohaler are detailed in the patient information leaflet for this product.
For all versions of this medicine:
- Do not take more than your doctor has told you to.
- If your symptoms deteriorate following application, or if you notice anything which could be indicative of an allergic reaction, seek medical advice immediately.
In each case, you should familiarise yourself with the instructions supplied with the treatment before you use it.
Bricanyl side effects
It is essential to be aware of the side effects this product may induce, so that you can take the appropriate action in the event that they happen to you. Let your doctor know right away if you experience any side effects which concern you, or may be indicative of an allergic reaction. You should also seek medical attention if, after using this product, your symptoms become worse or further aggravated.
Very Common (1 in 10 people or more):
Headache, trembling or shaking.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Cramp, tenseness, palpitations, low levels of potassium in your blood which may cause muscle weakness, thirst, or pins and needles.
Irregular heartbeat, chest pain, feeling or being sick, mouth and throat irritation, altered sleeping patterns, changes in behaviour, feeling agitated, restless or hyperactive.
This is not a complete list of the side effects associated with this product. Consult the leaflet supplied for more detailed information.
Taking it with other medicines
Let your prescriber know if you are using any other treatments during consultation. The following may interfere with the function of this product: steroids such as prednisolone; xanthines including theophylline or aminophylline; beta-blockers, for instance atenolol or propranolol, or eye drops such as timolol; or diuretics, for example furosemide.
Conditions to look out for
Bricanyl may not be suitable for you if you have a history of: diabetes; heart disease, irregular heart rhythm or angina; or an overactive thyroid gland.
Q&A: our Bricanyl discussion forum
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes. Drinking alcohol will not affect how this medication works.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. Your capacity to drive should not be impaired. However, if you experience any side effects which may make driving difficult, do not drive and contact your doctor immediately.
Can I use this medicine while pregnant?
Only use this product during pregnancy if your doctor thinks you need it. You should also consult your practitioner if you are breastfeeding before use.
How do I store it?
Keep each item in a safe place, below 25°C and away from excessive sources of light or moisture. Respules should be used within 12 hours of opening.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Bricanyl Respules contain: terbutaline sulphate, sodium chloride, disodium edetate, hydrochloric acid and water.
In the syrup are the following: terbutaline sulphate, citric acid, disodium edetate, ethanol, glycerol, sodium hydroxide, sorbitol, sodium benzoate, essence of raspberry, and water.
The tablets consist of: terbutaline sulphate, lactose monohydrate, maize starch, povidone, microcrystalline cellulose and magnesium stearate.
In the turbohaler is terbutaline sulphate, and no other substances.
Do not use these treatments if you are allergic to any containing ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
This product is a prescription-only treatment, and cannot be bought without prior consultation with your doctor.
Is it right for me?
If you are experiencing asthma symptoms you should arrange an appointment with your doctor to discuss treatment. Your doctor will also be able to arrange repeat prescriptions for those who have previously used this treatment.
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