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APAP/butalbital/caffeine (generic name)

(a set a MEE noe fen; byoo TAL bi tal; KAF een): An analgesic combination - It is used to treat tension headaches

APAP/butalbital/caffeine

What is this medicine?
ACETAMINOPHEN; BUTALBITAL; CAFFEINE (a set a MEE noe fen; byoo TAL bi tal; KAF een) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat tension headaches.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • confusion
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • seizure
  • stomach pain
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation
  • nausea, vomiting
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth 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.
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?
  • alcohol or medicines that contain alcohol
  • antidepressants, especially MAOIs like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and selegiline
  • antihistamines
  • benzodiazepines
  • carbamazepine
  • isoniazid
  • medicines for pain like pentazocine, buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, tramadol, and propoxyphene
  • muscle relaxants
  • naltrexone
  • phenobarbital, phenytoin, and fosphenytoin
  • phenothiazines like perphenazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, fluphenazine, prochlorperazine, promazine, and trifluoperazine
  • voriconazole
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.

Too much acetaminophen can be very dangerous. Do not take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or medicines that contain acetaminophen with this medicine. Many non-prescription medicines contain acetaminophen. Always read the labels carefully.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • drink more than 3 alcohol-containing drinks per day
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • heart or circulation problems
  • kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom
  • liver disease
  • lung disease, asthma, or breathing problems
  • porphyria
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to acetaminophen, butalbital or other barbiturates, caffeine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding
Can I stop taking the medication if I feel better?
If you are taking an analgesic for pain and you are no longer experiencing the pain you may stop using the medication. In general, pain medications are to be used on an “as needed” basis.
I am on so many medications; do I have to take them all?
This is called polypharmacy—many different medications being used at the same time by one person. Sometimes, being on multiple medications is acceptable and appropriate but at other times it may be problematic. If you are receiving your medications from multiple physicians you need to ensure that they all know what medications you are taking. The best way to do this is to make a list of all the medications you are currently using, including all nutritional supplements, homeopathic remedies, vitamins and over-the-counter drugs (if possible, also include all the diseases you have been diagnosed with). Give a copy to every doctor who takes care of you so they have it on file, this way they can avoid duplicating medications and perhaps even try to consolidate some. After every doctor's visit remember to update the list accordingly. Also, as much as you possibly can, try to use the same pharmacy to fill all your prescriptions, this way any potential drug interactions can be caught and averted.

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