Asthma UK community forum

help i am scared got to have a brycanil pump fitted to me

hi can anyone tell me what is involved having a brycanil pump fitted i think its something to do with needles perm under my skin and 24/7 infusion as my asthma is really brittle they have tried everything but cant get it under control its doing my head in now been like this for 2 years on so many drugs cant work anymore can someone help me with information to putmy mind at rest thanks simon.

5 Replies

Hello Simon

Welcome to AUK!

I use subcutaneous Ventolin and there are some other brittle asthmatics here that use Bricanyl instead!

I am sure that you have had plenty of venflon canulas etc so you are aware of IV needles. sub cut needles are much easier to use as you don't need to find a vein. It just goes into the fatty layer of your skin on mainly your stomach, or you can use tops of arms, legs and chest too!

The infusion consists of the following.

1 - the needle or giving set - basic ones are solid metal butterfly needles around 2-3 cm long which are inserted at 45 degree angle. There are some better sets on the market which either go in vertically ( don't worry - not too deep) or 45 degree angles and have an introducer needle which is withdrawn like venflons but leaves a small flexible bit of plastic tubing in. These are all integrated or attach to a piece of thin tubing which attaches to ....

2 - the syringe! The syringe will either be a standard 10 or 20ml one or if you end up with a posh syringe pump (see 4) specific to the pump.

3 - Bricanyl or terbutaline is the medicine ( A bronchodilator) which goes into the syringe. It comes in IV 5ml ampoules and you use a needle to draw it up into the syringe. A few people use nebuliser solution and some of use use IV ventolin instead!

4 - The Pump! The most commonly used syringe driver is the graseby MS26 one. it is about half the size of a video cassete without its plastic cover. It has a screw bit with a plastic bit on which pushes the syringe plunger along at a steady rate / intervals. The syringe is held in place by a plastic strip. It has a rate mm per 24 hrs which can be changed according to dose. eg for 10mls of bric to go in over 24 hrs you measure the syringe to the 10ml mark which at the mo is 52mm on my syringes and run at that rate.

There are some posh syringe drivers on the market so to speak called Crono.

See website below - go to products and you will see the crono pumps , some similar pumps to the grasebys and also some of the giving sets - eg sof-sets and sillouettes.

Putting the needles in - do it yourself first off and you will get used to it very quickly!! The can hurt a bit sometimes but often only transient pain and being able to breathe is worth it.

Your consultant may do a double blind test to see if you respond to the s/c or may start at a low dose and build it up from there.

Side effects - similart to lots of nebs or IV ventolin! also can affect skin too but don't worry about this at this stage.

Hope this helps... I have been usning it since 1994!!

Please ask anymore Q's and we are happy to help!



Hey simon

Ive been on subcut bricanyl for nearly 7 months now and it is not as bad as I thought it would be, kate has probably answered most of your questions but I just wanted to reassure you. You get used to it, I dont notice my pump half the time, drawing up the bricanyl is all just part of my meds routine now.

You can get lots of types of infusion sets I use sof sets and have no problem with these there not noticable and the line is very thin and there easy to insert with the sof-seter.

hope this helps



thanks for all the info that was really helpfull i am under going steroid injections at the mo and if that dosent work it will be the pump so got 4 weeks untill my consultant decides i am just fed up with not being able to breathe properly it sounds like this has really helped you so i hope it does for me once again thanks keep in touch simon.


Hi there,

Another subcut bricanyl user popping up to say hello! I've used it continuously in the past, initially with an MS26, then a Chrono pump...used non-stop for about 18 months-2 years, but now just using the pump when I'm going through a bad patch as I developed tolerance to it when on it all the time, so lost a lot of the benefits.

This suits me much better - more freedom when I'm going through a well controlled spell, and more effective response when i need it... I can iniate it myself at home as part of my management plan. There's a few of us around who have it in this fashion.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. :)



Hi Simon im another pump user too. Have been on mine this time continuously for nearly 4 yrs. You learn to live with it quickly especially if it is making a big difference to you. It just comes part of your meds and get into a good routine of drawing it up where ever you maybe! I wear mine on leg now with tubi grip so its under my trousers so cant see it or wear it in a bag in the summer. Obviously would rather it wasnt my best friend but has made difference to chest and life so wouldnt be without it. Still do have admissions but no where near as many as used to or for as long like they use to be. If you have to start it hope it makes a difference for you to!

Take care



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