Asthma UK community forum

Supply of Bricanyl for Sub-cut

Hi everyone,

After struggling on high dose steroids for over 3 years, and having tried almost everything under the sun (theophylline, methotrexate, silicate free diets etc), I have just started subcut terbutaline. At the moment I’m on 2mg/day taken by 6-hourly injections (0.5mg every 6 hours – though I’m off to hospital today to get an infusion pump set up). This seems to have improved my lungs a little, however both my specialist and I feel I would get more benefit if the dose was increased. He’s looking at increasing it to 12mg however I think trying 6mg first would be a sensible idea. The issue is that I live in Australia and the only form of Terbutaline you can get here is 0.5mg/1ml ampoules (from AstraZeneca). Even at the low dose I’m on its costing me over $800 per month (4 ampoules per day) and going up to 12mg would cost almost $5000 per month, not to mention it would require me to open 24 ampoules a day. Obviously that’s not really an option. My question is how does everyone on this mediation in the UK get around supply issues? I read in one post, you could get it in 5ml ampoules. Is this 5mg (1mg/ml)? My pharmacy has told me that the UK and Norway have larger doses available (i.e. 5ml ampoules) but they cannot find any suppliers who make/stock it (they would be happy to import it if they could find a supplier). Does anyone know who the UK suppliers are? My specialist is trying to get the hospitals drug committee to give me approval so I can get it through the hospital but that will take months.

Sorry for such a long post, but I don’t want to have to give up a medication that seems to be working because of supply issues.

Hope everyone is well (or as well as you can be),


3 Replies


i work as a nurse so i have my own bnf but i cant seem to find my BNF at the moment to know what the pharmacies over her in the uk stock,

the bnf is the book (british national formaulary) which tells you all the drugs that pharmacies supply and what strengths they come in.

you can google BNF or british national formulary online- on NOT

then type in bricanyl and it will tell you the ampules that we do here in the uk

good luck

x x



In the UK Bricanyl is available in 0.5mg/ml in 1ml ampoules - I have these for emergencies

The 5ml ampoules are still 0.5mg/ml so in effect a 5ml ampoule contains 2.5mg of Bricanyl.

I now use IV ventolin which suits me better as it is 1mg/ml so you need half the volume.

There have been supply issues recently with AstraZeneca in the UK and Bricanyl.

Astra Zeneca is the UK manufacurer and supplier.

Hope this helps



Hi Snowygirl and Kate,

Thank you so much for your help. It seems as though there is no easy answer to supply issues!



You may also like...