Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Codeine
Drug Class: Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine And Butalbital > Codeine > Opiate > Opioids > Opioid Agonist > Analgesic.

Uses

Physicians prescribe codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations to treat tension headaches. These chemicals work together to relieve pain, relax muscle contractions and improve blood flow to reduce the specific physiological causes of tension headaches. This medication is not normally prescribed for headaches that come and go. Learn More About Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital Uses

Other, off label uses for this medicine

More Off-Label Uses for Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital

Administration/Dosage

This drug is available in tablet form to be taken by mouth. Brand names of codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations include Fioricet with Codeine, Phrenilin with Caffeine and Codeine. Fioricet with Codeine contains 30 mg of codeine, 325 mg of acetaminophen, 40 mg of caffeine and 50 mg of butalbital.

The usual dosage for headaches is one or two capsules every 4 hours as needed. Do not exceed 6 capsules in one day. Your doctor may adjust your dosage if you have a history of liver or kidney disease.

The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has asked pharmaceutical manufacturers to limit the amount of acetaminophen in any individual prescription product to 325 mg per dose unit. The FDA is attempting to reduce the risk for severe liver injury associated with acetaminophen overdose; liver injury may lead to liver failure, liver transplant or even death. Drug companies have until January 14, 2014 to comply.

Physicians normally recommend taking codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations only when you need relief from pain, so you don't generally have to worry about missed doses. If your doctor has told you to take codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations on a schedule and you miss a dose, take the missing dose as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time to take another dose and you can tolerate the symptoms, skip the missed dose and resume your regular schedule.

Read More About Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital Administration and Dosage

Action

A tension headache is described as pain in the head, neck or scalp associated with muscle spasms in these areas. Each ingredient in codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations works in a different way to reduce the tension and resulting pain associated with tension headaches. Codeine is a narcotic pain reliever. It works by binding to pain receptors in your central nervous system to change the way your brain perceives pain. Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that enhances the effects of codeine. It works by blocking the hormone responsible for inflammation and pain. Butalbital is a barbiturate that relaxes muscle spasms associated with tension headaches. Caffeine relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels in a way that improves blood flow to muscles in your head, neck and scalp.

More About How Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital Works

Precautions

Anyone can suffer an allergic reaction to any medication. Allergic reaction is a serious medical condition that can deteriorate rapidly into a life-threatening emergency. Seek medical help immediately if you think you are suffering a reaction to codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, trouble breathing and swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.

Share your medical history with your physician. He may adjust your dosage of codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital or write a prescription for a different medication if you have had a history of certain medical conditions. Codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital medication may worsen your condition, or your medical condition may interfere with the way this drug works. Notify your physician if your existing medical conditions get worse while you are taking codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital.

Tell your physician about any significant illnesses or conditions, including:

  • Asthma, COPD, Sleep Apnea or Other Breathing Disorders.
  • Liver or Kidney Disease.
  • A History of Head Injury or Brain Tumor.
  • Low Blood Pressure.
  • A Stomach or Intestinal Disorder.
  • Curvature of the Spine.
  • Mental Illness.
  • History of Drug or Alcohol Addiction.

Codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations may make you dizzy or drowsy; furthermore, this drug may slow down your reaction time. Do not operate heavy machinery, drive a vehicle or engage in potentially risky behavior that requires you make quick decisions.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations. Alcohol increases your risk for liver damage associated with acetaminophen. Tell your doctor if you drink more than three alcoholic beverages each day or if you have ever had cirrhosis, a type of liver disease.

Codeine and butalbital can be habit-forming, especially if you have been taking high doses or using codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations for a long time. Tell your doctor if your prescription stops working to relieve your symptoms; this may be a sign you are developing a tolerance to codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital. Your physician may adjust your dosage or switch you to a different pain medication. Do not take higher doses or use codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations more frequently in an effort to relieve your symptoms. Stop using codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital when recommended. Tell your physician if you have trouble quitting this medication.

Read More About Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital Precautions

Warnings

Do not take codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations if you suffer the genetic disorder, porphyria.

Monitor the amount of acetaminophen you take each day. Taking too much acetaminophen is associated with increased risk for liver damage. Acetaminophen is a common ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter products. Check the labels of all medications to learn how much acetaminophen they contain. Acetaminophen is sometimes abbreviated to APAP. Ask your pharmacist if you are uncertain if a product contains acetaminophen.

The FCA has categorized codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations as pregnancy category C, which means scientists do not yet know if this drug can harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking this medication; notify your physician if you become pregnant while taking this drug. Do not breastfeed your baby while taking codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations - some components of this medication are found in breast milk. Codeine use by nursing mothers may cause serious or even life-threatening side effects in the baby.

Do not quit taking codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations suddenly unless directed to do so by your physician. Stopping the use of codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations abruptly may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Wean yourself from this medication by taking smaller doses less frequently. Speak with your physician if you have trouble stopping this medication; she may recommend rehabilitative treatment.

More Warnings About Using Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital

Drug Interactions

Codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital may interact with other drugs in unsafe or unfavorable ways. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all your medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter preparations and herbal remedies. Do not start or stop any medication without first consulting with a physician.

Do not use codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital with other medications that make you sleepy, including cough and cold remedies, narcotic pain killers, sedatives and sleep aides.

Your doctor may alter the dosage of codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations or switch you to a different prescription if you already take certain medications to treat other illnesses. Tell your doctor if you are taking the brand name drugs Robinul, Cantil, Cipro, or Donnatal. Make sure your physician knows if you are taking Cogentin, Dramamine, Pamine or Transder-Scop. This preparation may interact with bladder or urinary medications such as Enablex, Ditropan, Oxytrol, Detrol), or Vesicare. Talk with your doctor if you use a bronchodilator such as Atrovent or Spiriva or irritable bowel medications such as Bentyl Anaspaz, Cystospaz and others. Taking this drug while an MAO inhibitor such as Furoxone, Marplan, Nardil, Azilect, Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar or Parnate is still in your system can have dangerous side effects. Do not take this medication if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past two weeks.

More Drug Interactions

Side effects

Codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations may cause some common or serious side effects. Tell your doctor if your common side effects become intolerable or if they don't go away on their own. Common side effects include:

  • Feeling Dizzy or Drowsy, Shaky or Agitated.
  • Mild Nausea, Vomiting, Upset Stomach, Constipation, Diarrhea.
  • Increased Appetite.
  • Mood Changes.
  • Sleep Problems, Insomnia.
  • Dry Mouth, Sweating, Urinating More than Usual.

Some side effects can be serious, even life-threatening. Contact your doctor or local emergency room right away if you experience serious side effects such as:

  • Shallow Breathing, Slow Heart Rate.
  • Fast or Pounding Heart Rate.
  • Feeling Short of Breath.
  • Confusion, Unusual Thoughts or Behavior.
  • Feeling Light-Headed, Fainting.
  • Muscle Twitching.
  • Easy Bruising or Bleeding.
  • Nausea, Stomach Pain, Loss of Appetite.
  • Itching.
  • Dark Urine.
  • Clay-Colored Stools.
  • Jaundice

Learn More About Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital Side Effects

Overdose

Dangerous or even fatal overdose may occur if you take more codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations than prescribed or take it more often than recommended. Overdose is especially complicated in polydrugs, or single-dose medications containing multiple chemicals. If you believe you or someone you know has taken an overdose of this or any other medication, contact poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go directly to the emergency room. Toxicity resulting from ingesting too much codeine, acetaminophen and butalbital is more likely than from consuming too much caffeine. You can, however, suffer acute caffeine poisoning and suffer symptoms such as insomnia, restlessness, tremors, delirium or fast or irregular heartbeats. Codeine overdose symptoms include pinpoint pupils, slow and shallow breathing, loss of consciousness and possibly even seizures. Symptoms of butalbital poisoning include drowsiness, confusion, coma, respiratory depression, low blood pressure and low blood volume.

Acetaminophen overdose can cause very serious, potentially fatal, liver damage. Evidence of this liver damage may not be apparent for 48 to 72 hours after taking acetaminophen. Taking large amounts of acetaminophen can also cause kidney damage, coma due to low blood sugar and bleeding problems. Early symptoms of acetaminophen overdose include nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating and general malaise.

Learn More About Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital Overdose

Abuse

Experts believe about 9 percent of the population have misused opioids over the course of their lifetimes, including illegal and prescription drugs. The codeine and butalbital in this medication, like other opioids, are favorites among recreational users because of these drugs get them high. Abusers can buy codeine on the street, present phony prescriptions to pharmacies, go to multiple doctors or steal it from pharmacies, friends or family.

Read More About Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital Abuse

Withdrawal

Your body may grow physically dependent on codeine and butalbital if you take high doses of these drugs or use them for a long time. Dependence means your body relies on codeine to prevent symptoms of withdrawal. You may experience unpleasant, flu-like symptoms when you stop taking codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations. Withdrawal symptoms are a predictable, normal physiological reaction to your body's dependence on a chemical and not necessarily an indication of illicit or recreational drug abuse. Not everyone experiences withdrawal in exactly the same way. Sometimes people who had been given opioids in the hospital don't realize they are suffering from withdrawal and attribute the unpleasant physical symptoms to the flu. A person who has associated his symptoms with withdrawal might start craving codeine because he knows using the drug will ease his discomfort. Withdrawal symptoms may be so strong in some individuals that the physical discomfort prevents them from quitting codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations.

Detox

Rehabilitation specialists combine supportive care and medications to detoxify your body from codeine use. Medications ease withdrawal symptoms and cleanse the opioid from your body to speed restoration of your chemical balance. Supportive care typically involves counseling and other social services to increase your chances for success. Rapid detox is a new, humane way method of detoxifying your system. Physicians administer sedatives and anesthesia along with the regular detoxification medications so that you are sedated during withdrawal, unaware of the pleasant flu-like symptoms that prevented you from quitting on your own. You awaken refreshed and stabilized, already finished with the physically demanding part of rehabilitation. Learn More About Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital Detoxification Programs

Storage

This drug should be stored at room temperature. Keep codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations away from excessive heat, light and moisture. Put this and all medications out of the reach of children and pets. Do not share codeine, acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital preparations with others. Keep this opioid away from adults who might mistakenly or purposefully take this drug. Monitor your medications and account for all doses.

Read More About Storing Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital

Miscellaneous information

Tension headaches are one of the most common forms of headaches. This type of headache can occur at any age but are more common in adults and adolescents. Tension headaches occur when the muscles in your neck and scalp become tense in response to everyday stress, depression, anxiety or as the result of an injury. Alcohol use, sleeping in a cold room, eye strain, dental problems and fatigue may also cause this type of headache. Tension headaches can also occur alongside migraine headaches. Miscellaneous Information About Codeine, Acetaminophen, Caffeine and Butalbital