Fiorinal is a prescription only drug with combination of Aspirin, Butalbital and Caffein. It is prescribed to relieve complex tension headaches. Aspirin reduces inflammation and pain, butalbital causes relaxation and caffein constricts dilated vessels seen in headaches.
Aspirin is a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug. Butalbital is a barbiturate. Caffeine is a common stimulant chemical found in tea and coffee.
What you should discuss
If you have kidney disease, liver disease, gastric ulcers, bronchial asthma, congestive heart failure and high blood pressure then you should discuss with your doctor before taking Fiorinal. The doctor should also know over the counter medications you are on as well. If you are pregnant or nursing, then the doctor may not prescribe this medication. Fiorinal passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Doctor should also know patient’s sober habits before prescribing Fiorinal as well.
General advice on side effects and drug interations
This medication is available as tablets. Tablets should be taken with full glass of water without crushing, to minimize side effects. It can be taken with or without meals. It should be taken exactly as directed by the doctor. You can take it with glass of milk, if it upsets your stomach. If the medication begins to smells like vinegar, do not take it. Do not share this medication with anyone else as well.
Do not take this medication with other CNS depressant drugs such as valium or with alcohol. Do not take this medication with other NSAIDs like naproxen and diclofenac. Taking Fiorinal with MAOIs like Phenelzine(Nardil®) can presipitate very dangerous reactions.
Fiorinal causes drowsiness, so driving vehicles and operating machinery while on this drug is pretty dangerous
Serious side effects
Fiorinal is known to cause these serious side effects. If you detect these symptoms then stop taking the drug and seek emergency medical help.
They are 1) Anaphylactic reaction; it is a serious allergic type reaction with widespread hives, difficulty in breathing, swelling of tongue/lips, pallor and low blood pressure. 2) Next serious side effect is gastric ulceration and bleeding, that presents with blood stained vomiting or dark color stools.
Fiorinal should not be used in a child or teenager below 20 years with viral fever. Aspirin component may increase the risk of Reye’s syndrome in children. Reye’s syndrome is a potentially lethal condition. Symptoms of Reye’s syndrome are recurrent vomiting, listlessness, personality changes such as irritability or combativeness and disorientation or confusion.
Common and less serious side effects
Dry mouth, nausea, vomiting and decreased appetite can occur with this medication. Certain patients can complain dizziness and lightheadedness with this medication as well.