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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Butalbital Compound, Fiorinal

Generic Name: aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine (Pronunciation: AS pir in, byoo TAL bi tal, KAF een)

What is aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine (Butalbital Compound, Fiorinal)?

Aspirin is a pain reliever, as well as an anti-inflammatory and a fever reducer.

Butalbital is a barbiturate. It relaxes muscle contractions involved in a tension headache.

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels to improve blood flow.

The combination of aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine is used to treat tension headaches. This medicine is not for treating headaches that come and go.

Aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

ASA-Butalbital-Caffeine Tab-WES

round, white, imprinted with West-ward 785

ASA-BUT-CAF 325-50-40 mg-PUR

round, white, imprinted with R, 023

Butalbital-Aspirin-Caffeine 50-325-40 mg-WAT

capsule, green/yellow, imprinted with WATSON, 3219

Fiorinal Cap-WAT

capsule, dark green/light green, imprinted with FIORINAL 955

What are the possible side effects of aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine (Butalbital Compound, Fiorinal)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • shallow breathing, slow heart rate;
  • fast or pounding heart rate, muscle twitching;
  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • problems with urination; or
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin.

Less serious side effects include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;
  • mild nausea, gas, upset stomach, stomach pain; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine (Butalbital Compound, Fiorinal)?

Do not use this medication if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any symptoms of bleeding in your stomach or intestines. Symptoms include black, bloody, or tarry stools, and coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medication. Alcohol may increase your risk of stomach bleeding. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with butalbital.

Butalbital may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Keep this medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Aspirin should not be given to a child or teenager who has a fever, especially if the child also has flu symptoms or chicken pox. Aspirin can cause a serious and sometimes fatal condition called Reye's syndrome in children.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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