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Generic Name: ASA/butalbital/caffeine/codeine

It is used to treat tension headaches
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What is this medicine?

ASPIRIN; BUTALBITAL; CAFFEINE; CODEINE (AS pir in; byoo TAL bi tal; KAF een; KOE deen) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat tension headaches.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • brain tumor
  • drink more than 3 alcohol-containing drinks per day
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • head injury
  • heart or circulation problems
  • hemophilia, von Willebrand's disease, low platelets, or other bleeding problems
  • kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom
  • liver disease
  • lung disease like asthma or emphysema
  • peptic ulcer disease
  • porphyria
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to aspirin or salicylates, butalbital or other barbiturates, caffeine, codeine or other opioid analgesics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Swallow it with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take the medicine with food or milk. Do not take more than you are told to take.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. Caution should be used in children, especially teenagers, that have the chicken pox or flu.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • alcohol
  • cidofovir
  • furazolidone
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • methotrexate
  • probenecid
  • procarbazine
  • voriconazole
  • warfarin

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • antihistamines
  • benzodiazepines
  • certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • certain medicines for sleep
  • heparin and low molecular weight heparin like enoxaparin, dalteparin, and tinzaparin
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • phenothiazines like perphenazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, fluphenazine, prochlorperazine, promazine, and trifluoperazine
  • tramadol

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy when you first start taking the medicine or change doses. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that may be dangerous until you know how the medicine affects you. Stand or sit up slowly.

There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain. If you take more than one type at the same time, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing.

Too much aspirin can be very dangerous. Do not take aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin with this medicine. Many non-prescription medicines contain aspirin. Always read the labels carefully.

This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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