Butalbital is a medication for tension headaches. This drug can be found in combination with paracetamol, aspirin, or caffeine. Butalbital should not be used carelessly and must be in accordance with a doctor's prescription.

Butalbital belongs to the class of barbiturates. To deal with tension headaches, butalbital will work by relaxing the muscles in the head so that it can help relieve headaches.

Trademarks butalbital: -

What is butalbital

class Prescription drug
Category Barbiturates
Benefit Relieves tension headaches
Consumed by Adults and children aged ≥12 years
Butalbital for pregnant and lactating women Category N: Not yet categorized.

It is not known whether butalbital is absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not take this drug before consulting a doctor.

Drug form Tablets, capsules and syrup

Precautions Before Taking Butalbital

Butalbital should only be consumed according to a doctor's prescription and advice. There are several things that need to be considered before using butalbital, namely:

  • Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Butalbital should not be used by patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a blood clotting disorder, digestive tract disease, or respiratory disease, including  bronchopneumonia .
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking butalbital if you are planning to have certain laboratory tests or surgery.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or do activities that require alertness after taking butalbital, because this drug can cause drowsiness .
  • Immediately consult a doctor if you experience a drug allergic reaction  or overdose after consuming butalbital.

Dosage and Rules for Use Butalbital

Butalbital can be found in combination with paracetamol, aspirin, or caffeine. The doctor will determine the dosage according to the drug dosage form, type of drug combination, condition, and age of the patient.

Generally in combination products you can find 50 mg of butalbital. The dosage may vary for each product. However, in general, for relief from tension headaches, the dosage is 1–2 tablets, once every 4 hours.

How to Take Butalbital Properly

Take butalbital as directed by your doctor  and read the directions for use on the drug packaging. Do not reduce or increase the dose of butalbital you are taking because it can increase your risk of experiencing drug side effects or drug dependence.

Butalbital can be taken before or after meals. However, it is best to take the drug with food to prevent stomach upset. Wait until at least 10 minutes have passed after taking the medication before you can lie down.

Swallow butalbital tablets or capsules with a glass of water. Meanwhile, use a measuring device if you need to take butalbital in syrup form, so that the dosage of the medicine you are taking is correct.

Call your doctor if after using this medicine your condition does not improve, the frequency of headaches increases, or your headaches get worse.

Do not stop using butalbital suddenly. Stopping it suddenly can increase your risk of developing withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or changes in mental state or mood . Usually, the doctor will decrease the prescribed dose until the drug can be safely stopped.

If you forget to take butalbital, consume it immediately if the gap with the scheduled time for the next consumption is not too close. If the interval with the next dose is close, ignore the dose and do not double the next dose.

Store butalbital in a closed container in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep this drug out of reach of children.

Butalbital Interactions with Other Drugs

The effects of drug interactions that can occur if butalbital is used with certain drugs include:

  • Decreased blood levels or effects of doravirine, dexamethasone , fostemsavir, lonafanib, lorlatinib, or warfarin
  • Increased rate of removal of anticoagulant drugs , doxycycline, estrogen, felodipine , quinidine, theophylline , metoprolol, or prednisone  from the body
  • Increased sedative effect when used with carisoprodol, codeine or cyclobenzaprine.
  • Increased risk of severe side effects when used with MAOIs , such as isocarboxazid, linezolid ,

Butalbital Side Effects and Dangers

There are several side effects that can occur after consuming butalbital, namely:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizzy
  • Hard to sleep
  • Nausea, bloating , or stomach pain

Check with your doctor if these side effects don't go away or get worse. Immediately see a doctor if you experience an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects, such as:

  • Breathing becomes shallow or short of breath
  • Slow heartbeat ( bradycardia ) or palpitations
  • Frequent twitches
  • Confusion or behavioral disturbances
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Vomiting blood  or bloody bowel movements
  • Nosebleeds  or bruises appear on the skin for no apparent reason
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