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Drug Info > F > Fiorinal
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DIN (Drug Identification Number)


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Brand Name


Common Name
ASA - caffeine - butalbital

In this drug factsheet:

DIN (Drug Identification Number)


How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

This medication is a combination product that contains acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), butalbital, and caffeine. ASA is used to relieve pain. Butalbital, a barbiturate, is a relaxant. Caffeine helps increase the effectiveness of pain relief.

This medication is used to treat tension (or muscle contraction) headaches.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended adult dose of ASA - caffeine - butalbital is 2 capsules at once followed by 1 capsule every 3 to 4 hours if necessary. Do not take more than 6 tablets or capsules in one day.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is very important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. This medication has the potential for becoming habit-forming if taken for long periods of time. It should be avoided in situations where pain medication is required on a daily basis. If you have been taking this medication regularly and the medication is stopped suddenly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, trouble sleeping, shakiness, nausea, tremors, diarrhea, or hallucinations. It may be necessary to reduce the dose gradually to reduce the severity of withdrawal effects. Speak to your doctor for guidance on stopping this medication.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each hard gelatin, oblong capsule, with a purple opaque body and blue opaque cap, printed with "FIORINAL" and an "S" inside a triangle in white ink, contains butalbital 50 mg, caffeine 40 mg, and ASA 330 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, and talc.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to ASA, caffeine, butalbital, or any ingredients of the medication
  • are pregnant, in labour or breast-feeding
  • are overdosed on or intoxicated by alcohol, hypnotics, analgesics, or psychotropic medications
  • have a history of blood clotting problems
  • have had nasal polyps (growth in the nose), angioedema (swelling under the skin), or difficulty breathing as a result of taking ASA or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • have porphyria (a condition of the liver)
  • have respiratory depression or a predisposition towards it
  • have stomach ulcers or duodenal ulcers



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