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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Bricanyl Turbohaler Supplies Low

The manufacturer of Bricanyl® Turbohaler has written to healthcare professionals, and also informed Asthma UK, advising that supplies of this inhaler are very low in the UK.

The reason behind this shortage is being investigated and it is currently expected that this issue will persist until the end of January 2019. Asthma UK is advising patients to check their inhalers and ensure they have adequate supply; it is also recommended to seek advice from a healthcare professional for a suitable alternative before their current inhaler runs out.

Switching to an alternative will require a change to salbutamol. Consideration should be given to the range of devices available including pressurised metered dose inhalers, breath actuated aerosols and dry powder inhalers. Provision of a spacer device may also be appropriate.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this product supply shortage. It would be prudent to run clinical system searches to identify any patients who are currently prescribed this product to allow a review and arrangements made to identify a suitable alternative.

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6 Comments to “Bricanyl Turbohaler Supplies Low”

  1. We are in August 2019 now and my pharmacy have been having problems obtaining bricanyl for me. I have also been using it for 30 years. I can't use ventolin. What is the best dry powder alternative ?

    Comment by Maria Hamilton — August 28, 2019 #

    1. @Maria Hamilton,

      The Bricanyl inhaler was recently increased from 100 doses per inhaler to 120 - that may be part of the issue you are facing. There are dry powder alternatives but they all contain salbutamol which is the active ingredient of Ventolin. Since you have not said why you can't use Ventolin they may now be suitable for you; if it's because of the device being an aerosol then there are dry powder versions of salbutamol that may suit you.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — August 28, 2019 #

      1. I am encountering a similar issue. Got through the shortfall in end of 2018 for Bricanyl. I've now been told not available again? I can't use use ventolin because it induces tachycardia! Where do I go in terms of suitable alternatives?

        Comment by Ian Johnson — October 1, 2019 #

        1. @Ian Johnson,

          There are no supply issues in the UK with Bricanyl. However, as of the 1st July the distribution model changed to a different wholesaler so your pharmacy need to ensure they are ordering from the right place.

          Comment by Matthew Robinson — October 1, 2019 #

  2. I have used this inhaler for 30 years and only got enough for 2 weeks, what else can I take as this turbohaler suits me. I am very stressed about this.

    Comment by Cynthia Holmes — December 12, 2018 #

    1. @Cynthia,

      There are lots of options and if you speak to your surgery there should not be anything to worry about. There are aerosol inhalers that can trigger themselves or be used via a spacer and there are dry powder versions that are similar to what you are currently using. Speak to your surgery as soon as you can.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — December 13, 2018 #

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