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aspirin/butalbital/caffeine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine (Butalbital Compound, Fiorinal)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to aspirin, butalbital, or caffeine, or if you have:

  • stomach ulcer;
  • severe liver disease;
  • nasal polyps;
  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder (such as hemophilia); or
  • an allergy to an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Celebrex, Orudis, Indocin, Lodine, Voltaren, Toradol, Mobic, Relafen, Feldene, and others.

Do not use aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine 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.

To make sure you can safely take aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

Butalbital may be habit forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Never share this medication with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

FDA pregnancy category C. Butalbital may cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Taking aspirin during late pregnancy may cause bleeding in the mother or the baby during delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine.

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.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are ill or debilitated.

How should I take aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine (Butalbital Compound, Fiorinal)?

Take exactly as prescribed. Never take this medication in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your headache.

Do not stop using this medication suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the medication.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using this medication. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Butalbital is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

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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