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Butalbital Compound Information

written by: Victoria Trix•edited by: Diana Cooper•updated: 8/22/2009

Butalbital compound is sold under the brand names Fiorinal and Fiormor with Codeine. This is an oral capsule that contains aspirin, caffeine, butalbital and codeine phosphates.

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    Indications

    This drug is used to help treat tension headaches, as well as migraines. The aspirin decreases pain, caffeine aids the aspirin while the butalbital causes lessening of anxiety and induces sleep and relaxation. For those with worsening headaches, Fiormor or Fiorinal can be taken at the onset of headache pain for faster relief. If taken after headache has worsened, effects are not as great.

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    Dosing Information

    Dosage is solely based on the medical condition and therapy response of the patient and will be determined by a physician only. Normal dosage includes taking butalbital compound every 4 hours by mouth as needed with a full glass of water. This medication works best if taken at the onset of headache, rather than after headache has worsened. A small meal should help with upset stomach and a patient should not lie down for half an hour after taking this medication.

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    Contraindications

    This medication should not be used by those with alcoholism, hemorrhagic ulcers, COPD, asthma, nasal polyps, Reye’s syndrome, Con Willebrand’s Disease or sleep apnea. Others that are not recommended to take this medication include those with agoraphobia, OCDs, renal disease, hepatic disease, sleep automatism and vitamin K deficiencies. Any person that is pregnant or breast feeding should avoid this medicine, as well as those in the recovery phase of a myocardial infarction or respiratory insufficiency.

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    Drug Interactions

    Ketorolac, mifepristone and sodium oxybate as well as ACE inhibitors like lisinopril should not be taken with this medication. Also, adenosine, antacids or blood thinners and beta agonists like albuterol should be avoided. Gout drugs including probenecid, antibiotics like penicillin, sulfonamides and diabetes drugs like glyburide and insulin should not be taken with this drug. Lithium, methotrexate, pemetrexed, pheytoin, salsalate and SSRIs like fluvoxamine should be avoided according to Health Square.

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    Side Effects of Butalbital Compound

    Nausea and vomiting, stomach upset and gas as well as shaking or lightheadedness are all side effects commonly felt with this medication. Drowsiness and dizziness are also common and if any of these effects continue or get worse a physician should be consulted. More serious side effects that could be encountered include fainting and mental changes, irregular or fast heartbeat, increased thirst, ringing in the ears or easy bleeding and bruising. Persistent sore throat, yellow skin or severe heartburn are also side effects that can be considered serious and should be reported to a doctor.

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    Risks

    Increased use or dependency is high among users of this medication. The longer it is used in high doses; the withdrawal symptoms will be worsened. Nausea and vomiting as well as seizures and mental changes or mood changes are frequently seen during withdrawal of this medication. Preventing withdrawal requires regular treatment, then reducing dosage gradually under a physician’s care only.

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