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butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine (endolor, esgic, fioricet)

available over the counter: no

uses: treatment of headaches when over the counter medications are ineffective

mechanism of action: butalbital is a barbiturate which effects the central nervous system to cause sedation; acetaminophen interferes with the action of prostaglandins which cause inflammation; caffeine potentiates the effectiveness of pain relievers

side effects
• commom: abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea, vomiting
• less common: depression
• serious: shallow breathing, dizziness, weakness, unusual bleeding, muscle cramps, chest pain

concerns: butalbitral is a barbiturate, and may cause physical dependence; acetaminophen may cause liver damage; do not take the medicine if it has a strong vinegary odor

 

 

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