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Reliever Alternatives: Ventolin and Bricanyl not working

Hi There,

My son aged 8 is on Symbicort 100/6, and Bricanyl 0.5 turbohaler as a reliever. He was moved across in July from Beclmatosome and ventolin to try to control his symptoms better.

We always found that Ventolin did not seem to relieve his asthmatic cough (his main symptom). The Bricanyl turbohaler doesn't seem to help either! My son says that he feels no better after using his inhaler, and the frequency of the coughs does not reduce.

Are there any other reliever inhalers that we could try?

My son is on a predisinole 4 day course at the moment as his symptoms are bad. I just feel awful that we seem to have to resort to pred. in order to help him.

We also give him cetrizine daily.

ANy suggestions would be grateful, that we could mention in his follow-up on Wednesday.


2 Replies

It's now a fairly common method to use the SMART system (Symbicort, maintenance and reliever therapy) and this would seem a possible idea if he's already on Symbicort. The idea is you use it instead of Ventolin or bricanyl.

I've used it, and didn't find it that helpful (but Ventolin has always been fab for me! So not really a great indicator) but others have found it amazing! However because your sons quite young they may have a few reservation, because of the amount of steroids it means he'll be having. However it's definitely worth bringing up, as if he has very frequent courses of pred then Symbicort would be much favourable, and work out at less steroids.

Maybe Atrovent is worth bring up? It's a long lasting type of bronchodilator, mostly used in conjuction with a steroid inhaler.

Also it's quite unusual (though not unheard of!) for an asthmatic not to respond to any form of bronchodilator. Maybe it's worth just mentioning if asthma's definitely the cause, as normally one of the clinical requirements of an asthma diagnosis is reversilibilty after ventolin/bricanyl.

Hope you get it sorted



A cough isnt always a sign of an attack it could be that a change to preventer might be a better idea, Another reliver used along side ventolin/bricanyl is Atrovent but not sure if it is safe for that age. Unfortunalty though symicort can be used under the SMART regime your son is too young.

Has he been given a revisability test? where they test his breathing before and after his reliver


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