Asthma UK community forum
9,862 members16,625 posts

Problems using reliever during attack

I had another attack this morning, but this time it was different in that I was struggling to take my reliever. I don't get on with MDI's (spray type) and have a dry powder inhaler (Ventolin accuhaler) and trying to slow my breathing down enough to to inhale and then hold my breath made me feel like I was going to pass out (but if I went back to the rapid shallow breathing my body wanted the feeling passed). Eventually after many failed attempts I got enough reliever into me to ease things enough to take some decent puffs and things improved fairly quickly from there. I don't think it was panic, I'm always remarkably calm during an attack -must be survival instinct or something.

Anyway, does anyone else get this feeling? Could it have been lack of oxygen? Also I'm pretty confident that things would have improved much more quickly tidal breathing with a MDI and spacer, except that the propellants in MDI's make me worse which is why I have the dry powder inhaler. Does anyone else have similar problems? Can anyone offer any advice?

Thanks all!

4 Replies

I would discuss this issue wie ur gp/ asthma nurse. Have u looked at the bricanyl inhaler. Similar to salbutamol but different drug and makers. May be a different propellant. Hope a solution is at hand for u


My GP said that it sounds like I was decompensating rapidly, and asked if I was going blue but I have no idea, I was too busy trying to breathe. She told me not to do anything that could bring on an attack unless there's someone else around, so no showers when I'm home alone, but also no house-work either. =P

Bricanyl for inhalation only comes as a turbohaler or nebules and from what I've read I think the air flow resistance in a turbohaler is higher than an accuhaler, so it would probably by harder for me to use in an attack than my current inhaler. My GP mentioned that the consultant might prescribe an epi-pen, in the mean time she gave me a volumatic and a different brand of salbutamol inhaler to try.


Bricanyl definately comes in an aerosol form. It has a different spacer from salbutamol .....hope the other form of salbutamol helps.


I was under the impression that the metered dose formulation of Bricanyl was discontinued when all CFC propellants were withdrawn. It's not listed in the BNF anymore anyway, but if it's being reintroduced I'll give anything a try!


You may also like...