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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Wheezing, tightness in chest, pinpoint pupils, yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes, easy bruising, vomiting blood, sore throat, fever, mouth sores, difficult urination, hearing loss, blood in urine. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, flushed face, depression, increased urination.
Less Common

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


Drug Class:
Opioid (narcotic) 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 tension headaches or migraines.

How It Works
Butalbital, a barbiturate, acts on the central nervous system to relieve pain. 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. Codeine, a narcotic, is believed to block pain signals to the brain.

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
This medicine should be taken with food or water to minimize stomach irritation.

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

Missed Dose
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
You should take this medication as prescribed for the full treatment period, but you may stop taking it 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
Narcotic drugs, such as codeine, and barbiturates, such as butalbital, can cause physical dependence. Prolonged use can cause kidney dysfunction.

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

Breast Feeding
Do not use while nursing.

Infants and Children
This medicine is generally not prescribed for children under age 12. Consult your doctor before giving it 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. The drug 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 this medicine. Check with your doctor if the medicine stops working as well as it did at the outset of therapy. Do not try to get better pain relief by increasing the dose. Do not take this drug if it has a strong, vinegary odor.

Overdose Symptoms
Ringing in ears, slow and weak pulse, deep sleep, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, 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 specific advice if you are taking acetazolamide, gout medicines, beta-blockers, anticoagulants, methotrexate, narcotic pain relievers, nonsteroidal 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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