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butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine / codeine (fioricet with codeine)

available over the counter: no

uses: treatment of tension 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; codeine is a narcotic which blocks pain signals in the brain and spinal cord

side effects
* commom: drowsiness, shortness of breath, dizziness, constipation
* less common: rash or hives
* serious: chest pains, muscle and joint pains, sore throat

concerns: butalbitral is a barbiturate, and may cause physical dependence; acetaminophen may cause liver damage; avoid driving or operating heavy machinery

 

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