Generic name: Butalbital, Aspirin, CaffeineBrand names: Fiorinal
Fiorinal, a strong, non-narcotic pain reliever and muscle relaxant, is prescribed for the relief of tension headache symptoms caused by stress or muscle contraction in the head, neck, and shoulder area. It combines a non-narcotic, sedative barbiturate (butalbital) with a pain reliever (aspirin) and a stimulant (caffeine).
Barbiturates such as butalbital can be habit-forming if you take them over long periods of time.
For best relief, take Fiorinal as soon as a headache begins.
Take the medication with a full glass of water or food to reduce stomach irritation. Do not take Fiorinal if it has a strong odor of vinegar.
Take Fiorinal exactly as prescribed. Do not increase the amount you take without your doctor's approval, or take the drug for longer than prescribed.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Fiorinal.
If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to barbiturates, aspirin, caffeine, or other sedatives and pain relievers, you should not take Fiorinal. The aspirin in Fiorinal, in particular, can cause a severe reaction in someone allergic to it. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.
Unless you are directed to do so by your doctor, do not take Fiorinal if you have porphyria (an inherited metabolic disorder affecting the liver or bone marrow).
Because aspirin, when given to children and teenagers suffering from flu or chickenpox, can cause a dangerous neurological disease called Reye's syndrome, do not use Fiorinal under these circumstances.
Fiorinal contains aspirin. If you have a stomach (peptic) ulcer or a disorder affecting the blood clotting process, you should not take Fiorinal. Aspirin may irritate the stomach lining and may cause bleeding.
Fiorinal may make you drowsy or less alert; therefore, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know your response to Fiorinal.
Taking more of Fiorinal than your doctor has prescribed may cause dependence and symptoms of overdose.
Be especially careful with Fiorinal if you are an older person or in a weakened condition, if you have any kidney, liver, or intestinal problems or an enlarged prostate gland, or if you have had a head injury. Also be cautious if you have a thyroid problem, blood clotting difficulties, or a urinary disorder.
Butalbital decreases the activity of the central nervous system and intensifies the effects of alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking Fiorinal.
If Fiorinal is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Fiorinal with the following:AcetazolamideBeta-blocking blood pressure drugs such as atenolol and propranololBlood-thinning drugs such as warfarinDrugs known as MAO inhibitors, such as the antidepressants phenelzine and tranylcypromineInsulinMercaptopurineMethotrexateNarcotic pain relievers such as oxycodone and propoxypheneNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxenOral contraceptivesOral diabetes drugs such as glyburideProbenecidSleep aids such as pentobarbital and triazolamSteroid medications such as prednisoneSulfinpyrazoneTheophyllineTranquilizers such as alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide, and diazepamValproic acid
The effects of Fiorinal during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. If you take aspirin late in your pregnancy it could cause bleeding in you or your baby, or could delay the baby's birth. Aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine appear in breast milk. If Fiorinal is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with Fiorinal is finished.
The usual dose of Fiorinal is 1 or 2 tablets or capsules taken every 4 hours. You should not take more than 6 tablets or capsules in a day.
The safety and effectiveness of Fiorinal have not been established in children.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.