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Side Effects
Serious

Difficulty breathing, tightness in chest, coughing, or wheezing; sores or white spots in mouth; bluish discoloration, flushing, or redness of skin; stuffy nose; pinpoint pupils; fever; swollen eyelids, face, lips, or tongue; difficulty swallowing; crusting or bleeding sores on lips; sore throat; burning, tenderness, or peeling of skin. Call your physician immediately.
Common

Drowsiness, dizziness, heartburn.
Less Common

Insomnia, nightmares, headache, constipation, increased sweating, unusual fatigue.
Butalbital/Aspirin/Caffeine


Drug Class:
Nonnarcotic analgesic

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Capsules, tablets

Why Prescribed
To treat headaches or migraines.

How It Works
Butalbital, a barbiturate, acts on the central nervous system to cause sedation. Aspirin appears to interfere with the action of prostaglandins, naturally occurring substances in the body that cause inflammation and make nerves more sensitive to pain impulses. Caffeine is believed to enhance the effectiveness of pain relievers.

Range and Frequency
1 or 2 capsules or tablets every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 pills a day.

Onset of Effect
Within 1 hour.

Duration of Action
4 hours.

Dietary Advice
Take this drug with food or a full glass of water to avoid stomach irritation.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Missed Dose
If your doctor has directed you to take this drug on a regular schedule, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Take it as prescribed for the full treatment period, but you may stop taking the drug if you are feeling better before the scheduled end of therapy. This drug should never be stopped abruptly after long-term regular use.

Prolonged Use
Prolonged use may result in physical dependence and may cause kidney damage. Periodic kidney function tests are recommended. Prolonged use may make exposure to cold weather more hazardous.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how the medicine affects you.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol.

Pregnancy
Taking this medicine late in pregnancy may cause drug dependence in the unborn child. Before you take it, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Butalbital and aspirin pass into breast milk; avoid or discontinue use while nursing.

Infants and Children
Consult your doctor before giving this medicine to anyone under age 18 who has a viral illness, especially chicken pox or influenza. The aspirin may cause a serious illness called Reye's syndrome.

Special Concerns
Tell any doctor or dentist whom you consult that you are taking this medicine. It works best if taken at the first sign of a headache. Tell your doctor if you begin having headaches more frequently than before you started using it, or if the drug stops working as well as it did at the outset of therapy. This may be a sign of drug dependence. Do not try to get better pain relief by increasing the dose. Do not take the drug if it has a strong vinegary odor.

Overdose Symptoms
Deep sleep, weak pulse, ringing in ears, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, deep and rapid breathing, convulsions, loss of consciousness.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for advice if you are taking acetazolamide, gout medicines, beta-blockers, anticoagulants, methotrexate, narcotic pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral contraceptives, oral diabetes medicines, steroid medicines, tranquilizers, or valproic acid.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have any of the following: stomach or duodenal ulcers, asthma, epilepsy, anemia, gout, or a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Use of this drug may cause complications in patients with liver or kidney disease, since these organs work together to remove the medication from the body.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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