What is Fiorinal and why is it prescribed?
Fiorinal, a strong, non-narcotic pain reliever and muscle relaxant, is prescribed for the relief of tension headache symptoms caused by stress or muscle contraction in the head, neck, and shoulder area. It combines a non-narcotic, sedative barbiturate (butalbital) with a pain reliever (aspirin) and a stimulant (caffeine). Barbiturates such as butalbital can be habit-forming if you take them over long periods of time.

How should you take Fiorinal?
Follow your doctors directions for taking Fiorinal. For best relief, take Fiorinal as soon as a headache begins. Take Fiorinal with a full glass of water or food to reduce stomach irritation. Do not take this medication if it has a strong odor of vinegar. Take Fiorinal exactly as prescribed. Do not increase the amount you take without your doctor's approval, or take the drug for longer than prescribed. If you miss a dose and you take Fiorinal on a regular schedule, take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once. Store Fiorinal at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed.

Are there any Fiorinal side effects?
Fiorinal side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. More common Fiorinal side effects may include dizziness and drowsiness. Less common or rare Fiorinal side effects may include gas, light-headedness, nausea, skin problems, and vomiting.

What are the possible food and drug interactions when taking Fiorinal?
If Fiorinal is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Be sure to inform your doctor of all the prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. Butalbital decreases the activity of the central nervous system and intensifies the effects of alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking Fiorinal. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Fiorinal with Acetazolamide (Diamox), Beta-blocking blood pressure drugs (such as Inderal and Tenormin), Blood-thinning drugs (such as Coumadin), Drugs known as MAO inhibitors (such as the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate), Insulin, Mercaptopurine (Purinethol), Methotrexate (Rheumatrex), Narcotic pain relievers (such as Darvon and Percocet), Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Naprosyn, Motrin), Oral contraceptives, Oral diabetes drugs (such as Micronase), Probenecid (Benemid), Sleep aids (such as Halcion and Nembutal), Steroid medications (such as prednisone), Sulfinpyrazone (Anturane), Theophylline (Theo-Dur, others), Tranquilizers (such as Librium, Valium, and Xanax), or Valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote).

Are there any special warnings about Fiorinal?
Fiorinal may make you drowsy or less alert. You should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know your response to Fiorinal. Taking more Fiorinal than your doctor has prescribed may cause dependence and symptoms of overdose. Be especially careful with Fiorinal if you are an older person or in a weakened condition, if you have any kidney, liver, or intestinal problems or an enlarged prostate gland, or if you have had a head injury. Also be cautious if you have a thyroid problem, blood clotting difficulties, or a urinary disorder.

Information on this website is provided for educational purposes and should not replace discussions with your doctor.


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