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Braille on Turbohalers

As some of you may no as well as having asthma I am also registered blind. I have been learning braille and for ages was trying to work out the numbers on my inhalers.

So far I have:

Pulmicort Brown (100mcg) is Number 1

Bricanyl Blue is Number 2

Symbicort 200/6 is Number 6

Symbicort 400/12 is Number 7 (I think)

I'm just curious to know what the other numbers are. It doesn't seem to make any sense. They could have just labelled them R for red Bl for Blue and Br for brown and G for Green.

If anyone is curious to look their inhaler out and fullfill my geekyness knowledge gap please do!

Here is a link to what braille numbers look like



16 Replies

Hi Beth

Do you know what i was just discussing with my boyfriend who has been working with merk pharmacy company why they have only just started putting braille on the inhalers because i was saying i go by colours red on the symibcort for emergency and blue for in between and the colours on the boxes also cause im on that many different tablets and sometimes i get so scared of taking the wrong tablet i freak out so i have a colour chart maybe someone could do a number chart or another type of chart to help different users.

Also im dyslexic and i have taken the wrong tablet also at the wrong time because of all the different brands

not good like not good at all let me know how you get on


I can't really tell you why or anything cus I simply don't know.

But 1 thought I had is, if a person is blind, they might never have seen colour, so would it be of any more benifit to have the colours instead of numbers?

Sorry if that seems a little ignorant of me, I know more about deafness than blindness i'm afraid.



Ventolin Evohalers have a large Embossed V with some bars undeneath.

The preventer evohalers don't have any distinguishing features apart from Seretide whcih has the little counter window on the back. the front writing is not very perceptive.



Pulmicort 400 turbohaler is also #2 apparently!

And serevent and flixotide accuhalers don't have anything on.

*wonders how you'd tell the difference between pulmicort 400 turbohaler and bricanyl turbohaler...*



regarding the numbers on the turbohalers, are they actually braille numbers or ordinary numbers stamped on in relief? If they are the relief numbers eg 2 , 7 etc and not braille, Then they may be the mould numbers for the turbohaler plastic casing.

There are little numbers inside evohaler caps and they are different, I have checked 3 ventolins, all have different numbers.

I suppose the numbers are for quality control purposes, if some come out of the moulds squidgy then they can trace it back to the mould which may be broken or if a batch of inhalers are faulty then they can find where the problem may lie.

Also, sometimes things are manufactured at more than one site, this happens with food.



It is definitely braille on the symbicort and the bricanyl as the manufacturers say it is!

I don't read braille so I might be wrong but comparing my bricanyl with the braille alphabet on line I think that bricanyl blue is 1 not 2 (but as I say I'm not a native braille reader)


using the link in beth's post, the dots on the box are brail for the item (eg seretide, then the dosage below 25/125), but nothing on the actual inhaler, which is sort of stupid if you have more than 1 inhaler and cant see, especially if you are colour blind.


The braille on the symbicort and bricanyl is on the actual turbohalers - I don't know about others as those are the two I use. It is embossed on the coloured base so you either pick up the red or blue one, or if you are blind or colour blind you pick up the one with the correct braille on the base.


the ones i have are serevent, clenil modulite and seretide, all on the box only.


Thanks guys!

I can still see colour so I put the inhalers up to my eye and go by that but I was talking to a friend who has never seen colour and even she thinks it would be better to have the colours labelled on rather than the numbers. So Bl for blue, Br for brown, R for red, G for green.

Most medication has braille on the box and it tells you what the medication is and the dosage but I've found inhalers don't have this just the wierd numbering system. No one have a green inhaler? I'm dying to know what number that has on it! I don't think there are any other colours in the turbohalers are there?

Is pulmicort not the brand name for bricanyl?

Kate - I think the embossed V is a good idea but if you don't know print letters it is no good but at least you know the difference between ventolin and seretide!


They aren't the same - bricanyl contains terbutaline and pulmicort contains budesonide. I'm not too sure what the difference between those two is though! Except I do know that symbicort contains budesonide and formoterol.

In which case bricanyl is different from pulmicort but symbicort is pulmicort plus something else.

why do they make it so complicated??


hi just thought some have got a bit confused. Bricanyl is a reliever inhaler containing turbutaline (sp) pulmicort and symbicost are steroid inhalers tho symbicort contains another medicine which please someone correct me if im wrong is a long acting bronchodilator!

Hope this clears some confusion bricanyl is used in some patient instead of ventolin.

Take care everyone lv kat Xxx


Bricanyl is a reliever inhaler (blue) containing terbutaline (C12H19NO3) not pulmicort.

Symbicort is a preventer inhaler (red) containing budesonide (C25H34O6. plus formoterol (C19H24N2O4). (ie pulmicort plus formoterol)

terbutaline is a short acting Beta2 adrenergic receptor agonist

Buduesonide/pulmicort is a steroid.

Formoterol is a long acting Beta2 adrenergic receptor agonist.

Pulmicort contains Budesonide on its own without the agonist.

Beta2 adrenergic receptor agonists are bronchodilators, although there are more bronchodilators than short or long acting Beta2 andrenergic receptor agonists.

Both bricanyl and symbicort have braille on the actual turbohaler itself.

Bricanyl 0.5mg has a number 1 in braille

Symbicort 200/6 has a number 6.

Symbicort 200/6 is the same as symbicort 160/4.5 but marketed as 200/6 in the UK

I don't know what pulmicort has on the inhaler.

Pulmicort and bricanyl are different drugs and shouldn't be confused - one is a steroid preventer (pulmicort) the other a bronchodilator reliever(bricanyl).

I hope that has cleared any confusion up!


hi beth and sandie, I have a green inhaler, serevent - it has an S on the front, and a collection of dots below 3 hgh and 9 wide


Okay, I know I'm really late on this, but I only joined the forums today and discovered this thread. I am totally blind and have been using various turbohalers ov|er the years. I can tell you some of the numbers, and my theory as to why they exist. ~the numbers I definitely know are: bricanyl for adults, 2. Symbicort, 6. Pulmicort, 2. ~oxys, the brand name for formoterol, 5. I have also seen a children's version of bricanyl, which fad the number 9. ~this has given rise +my theory that the numbers pertain +each actual product. So you have the adults' bricanyl which is 1 and the children's which is 9. ~you would have the adults' pulmicort which is 2 and the children's which would be some oher number, etc, etc. ~if this is the case, you couldn't label the inhalers by their colour, because the adults' and children's versions need different labels. Really colour labelling would be a bit confusing to the likes of me anyway; I can never remember what colour all the preventers are, and that would be even harder for a blind child. So, Beth, I hope all this goes some way +answer your questions. I'll finish by saying that once I was able to use this numbering system to discover that a chemist had given me the wrong inhaler, without ever breaking the seal. It has its uses. I wouldn't be without it+ Eve


I'm registered blind with sight & I tell which to take my colour or size.

Take my eyedrops for example, Cosopt is a large bottle that has a thing on the side that you have to press down to release the gel type drop whereas Travatan is a small bottle (A pain when you drop it) that you just have to shake once it is above your eye & then when I feel it go in my eye I know I have taken it.

I am on contraceptive pill, which I still find hard to see the days of the week on so I write them on in pen (large letter for each day so M T W T F S S) so that I know which one to pop out.

I can tell my inhalers apart by colour. I take my purple accuhaler twice a day & then I take my blue & white turbohaler when needed.


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