difference between ventolin and brycanyl

Hi I just wondered if any1 can tell me the difference between ventolin and bricanyl and if certain ones are suited to certain people. I only ask this coz I play a lot of sport and one of my friends uses bricanyl and i use ventolin and hers seems so much more practical as I'm sick to death of getting bits in mine from being in the bottom of my sports bag and then choking on them! just wondered if I would be able to use one of them for sports or if its totally different and wouldn't actually help my chest when I'm in need



5 Replies

  • Hi Danni,

    Salbutamol (Ventolin) and terbutaline (Bricanyl) are sister drugs in the sense that they both work by stimulating the same receptors, the beta 2 receptors, on the cells of the airways, which then has the effect of widening the airways. They are therefore both used as relievers in asthma, and are the two main quick acting relievers used.

    There is essentially little to chose between them - terbutaline is said to be slightly stronger in most people, and therefore people will often only need one puff whereas they might need two of salbutamol. In addition, some people find that one or the other will be better for them in terms of side effects, for whatever reason. Lastly, some people are allergic to one of them, and will therefore only use the other.

    In terms of what you are saying about the convenience of using your inhaler, what is it specifically that you find inconvenient? From your comments about your inhaler getting bits in it and then choking on them, I'm guessing that perhaps you are using an MDI ('puffer' style inhaler) and that your friend has a Turbohaler (tubular shaped dry powder inhaler). That is not so much a question of what is in the inhaler, more which delivery device you chose. Both salbutamol and terbutaline inhalers come in a range of delivery devices. Although I'm not aware that there is a salbutamol Turbohaler, there are certainly other delivery devices that might suit you better and would be less likely to get bits in them from being in your sports bag.

    I would suggest that you make an appointment to see the asthma nurse at your GP practice. She will usually have a range of placebo (dummy) inhalers of different sorts, so that you can have a play and see which one you think might suit you better than the one you've got now - whether that be a Bricanyl turbohaler or a different salbutamol inhaler. She can then get your GP to prescribe the appropriate one. While you're there she can also review your inhaler technique and your asthma control and treatment in general, which is always a good plan!

    Hope this helps

    Em H

  • thanks for that emily I didn't realise that ventolin came in different types and yes I have the puffer style one and I don't clean it out that often hence it getting filled with varios bits and dirt! I will ask at the asthma clinic next time I'm in



  • You can purchase puffa pouches to keep your puffer in which may help to keep it cleaner.

  • You can purchase puffa pouches to keep your puffer in which may help to keep it cleaner.

  • The ventolin accuhalers are powder ones and all enclosed but if you like MDIs or can't take the powder there are autohalers which have a top bit on and will help stop the 'killer fluff' getting in.


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