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Esgic (Generic Acetaminophen, Butalbital, and Caffeine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Esgic is a prescription medication primarily used for the treatment of tension headaches. It contains a combination of three active ingredients: butalbital (a barbiturate), acetaminophen (a pain reliever), and caffeine (a stimulant). Butalbital works by relaxing muscle contractions involved in tension headaches, acetaminophen reduces pain and fever, and caffeine helps enhance the effects of acetaminophen.

How should this medicine be used?

Here’s how Esgic is typically used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Esgic prescribed by your healthcare provider will depend on your specific condition and medical history. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, and do not exceed the recommended dosage.
  • Administration: Esgic is usually taken orally, with or without food. It comes in the form of capsules or tablets.
  • Frequency: It is typically taken every 4 hours as needed for pain relief, but again, follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the frequency of use.
  • Avoid Alcohol: It’s important to avoid consuming alcohol while taking Esgic, as it can increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and liver damage.
  • Duration of Use: Esgic is generally prescribed for short-term use to relieve acute headaches. Prolonged or excessive use can lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may monitor you closely while you’re taking Esgic to ensure it’s effectively managing your headaches and that you’re not experiencing any adverse effects.
  • Discontinuation: Do not suddenly stop taking Esgic without consulting your doctor, as abrupt discontinuation can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
  • Storage: Store Esgic at room temperature away from moisture and heat, and keep it out of reach of children.

As with any medication, it’s essential to use Esgic exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider and to discuss any concerns or potential side effects with them. Additionally, be mindful of any other medications or supplements you’re taking, as they could interact with Esgic.

Other uses for this medicine

While Esgic is primarily prescribed for tension headaches, it may also be used off-label for other types of headaches or pain conditions at the discretion of a healthcare provider. However, it’s crucial to note that off-label use should only be done under the guidance and supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions to follow when taking Esgic include:

  • Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have any allergies to butalbital, acetaminophen, caffeine, or any other medications. This is important to prevent allergic reactions.
  • Medical History: Disclose your complete medical history to your healthcare provider, especially if you have a history of certain conditions such as liver disease, kidney disease, substance abuse, mental/mood disorders, breathing problems, or a history of stomach/intestinal ulcers.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. The use of Esgic during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be weighed against potential risks and benefits.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Avoid alcohol while taking Esgic, as it can increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and liver damage.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Esgic may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Interaction with Other Medications: Inform your doctor about all the medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are currently taking, as they may interact with Esgic, potentially affecting its effectiveness or increasing the risk of side effects.
  • Risk of Dependence and Withdrawal: Esgic contains butalbital, which is a barbiturate and can be habit-forming. Prolonged or excessive use of Esgic may lead to physical or psychological dependence. Do not exceed the prescribed dosage, and do not suddenly stop taking it without consulting your doctor, as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
  • Liver Function: Esgic contains acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage if taken in high doses or with alcohol. Regular monitoring of liver function may be necessary, especially with prolonged use.
  • Storage: Store Esgic at room temperature away from moisture and heat, and keep it out of reach of children.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance regarding the use of Esgic and discuss any concerns or questions you may have about this medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special dietary instructions for Esgic are generally not required. However, it’s advisable to avoid excessive consumption of caffeine-containing foods and beverages (such as coffee, tea, cola) while taking Esgic, as it already contains caffeine, and excessive intake may increase the risk of side effects such as nervousness, irritability, and rapid heartbeat.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget a dose of Esgic, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up. If you are unsure about what to do, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Esgic, like any medication, can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Some of the common side effects of Esgic include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Shaking (tremor)
  • Increased urination
  • Restlessness
  • Increased excitability (especially in children)
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Rash or itching

These side effects are typically mild and may improve as your body adjusts to the medication. However, if any of these side effects persist or worsen, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider.

In addition to the common side effects mentioned above, Esgic may also cause more severe side effects that require immediate medical attention. These can include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction (such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing)
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations)
  • Severe stomach/abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding

If you experience any of these severe side effects, seek medical attention promptly.

It’s important to note that this is not a comprehensive list of all possible side effects of Esgic. If you have any concerns about side effects or notice any unusual symptoms while taking Esgic, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to storage and disposal of Esgic, it’s important to follow certain guidelines to ensure safety and efficacy:


  • Keep Esgic out of reach of children and pets.
  • Store Esgic at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
  • Do not store Esgic in the bathroom or near the kitchen sink.
  • Avoid freezing Esgic.


  • Dispose of expired or unused Esgic properly.
  • Do not flush Esgic down the toilet or pour it into a drain unless instructed to do so by a pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
  • Follow any specific disposal instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an overdose or emergency, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or seek emergency medical attention immediately.
  • Symptoms of an overdose may include severe drowsiness, confusion, slow or shallow breathing, extreme weakness, fainting, or coma.
  • Be prepared to provide information about the medication ingested, the amount taken, and the person’s age and weight.

What other information should I know?

  • Do not share Esgic with others, as it is prescribed specifically for your condition.
  • Keep track of your medication usage to avoid accidental overdose.
  • Inform any healthcare provider treating you that you are taking Esgic.
  • Do not change the dosage or stop taking Esgic without consulting your healthcare provider.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring and evaluation.
  • Report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safe storage, disposal, and handling of Esgic, as well as be prepared to respond appropriately in case of an emergency or overdose.

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