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Butalbital/acetaminophen (By mouth)

Acetaminophen (a-seet-a-MIN-oh-fen), Butalbital (bue-TAL-bi-tal)

Treats the symptoms of tension headache. This medicine contains a barbiturate.

Brand Name(s):

Bupap, Cephadyn, Marten-Tab, Orbivan CF, Phrenilin, Phrenilin Forte, Promacet, Tencon

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to butalbital or acetaminophen (Tylenol®), or if you have porphyria.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Capsule

  • Take your medicine as directed. It is not safe to use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) of acetaminophen in one day (24 hours).
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.
  • If this medicine upsets your stomach, you may take it with food or milk.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Avoid using this medicine together with an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Do not use this medicine together with other medicines that also contain acetaminophen. Taking too much acetaminophen can cause serious medical problems or even death.
  • Many medicines contain acetaminophen, including brand names such as Alka-Seltzer Plus®, Comtrex®, Drixoral®, Excedrin Migraine®, Midol®, Sinutab®, Sudafed®, Theraflu®, and Vanquish®. Carefully check the labels of all other medicines you are using to be sure they do not contain acetaminophen.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or a stomach disorder.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash.
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Increase in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Nausea, vomiting, sweating, weakness.
  • Numbness in any part of your body.
  • Severe drowsiness, confusion, shallow breathing, fainting.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth, heartburn.
  • Feeling like you are drunk.
  • Muscle pain or weakness.
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain.
  • Ringing in your ears.
  • Sleepiness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 4/4/2014
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