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Fortabs (Generic Aspirin, Butalbital, and Caffeine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

This medication cocktail is used to treat tension headaches.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this drug for any other conditions.

How should this medicine be used?

Aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine are available in tablets and capsules for oral use. As needed, it is typically taken every four hours. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine should be taken exactly as prescribed. Six tablets or capsules maximum should be taken in a single day. Call your doctor if you believe you require additional treatment to alleviate your symptoms.

This drug has a potential for habit formation. Never exceed the recommended dosage, frequency, or duration. Always follow your doctor’s instructions.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine,

  • Aspirin, butalbital, caffeine, other painkillers like ibuprofen (Motrin), or any other medications should be disclosed to your doctor and pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking, especially acetazolamide (Diamox), anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) like warfarin (Coumadin), antidepressants, antihistamines, corticosteroids like prednisone, medications for arthritis, gout, diabetes, or pain, methotrexate, sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and vitamins.
  • Inform your physician if you now or ever had kidney illness, porphyria, bleeding issues, nasal polyps, ulcers, or a history of depression.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. If aspirin is consumed after 20 weeks of pregnancy, it may harm the fetus and complicate delivery. If your doctor hasn’t instructed you to, avoid using aspirin, butalbital, or caffeine around or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking caffeine, butalbital, and aspirin.
  • You should be aware that this medication might make you sleepy. Until you are certain of how this medication affects you, do not operate machinery or drive a car.
  • Keep in mind that drinking can exacerbate the effects of this drug’s sedation.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Caffeine, butalbital, and aspirin can all upset your stomach. Take this medication with milk or food.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Caffeine, butalbital, and aspirin all have potential negative consequences. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Drowsiness
  • Uneasy stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Body rash
  • Itching
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Hearing ringing
  • Black or bloody stools

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online at or by phone at 1-800-332-1088 if you have a serious side event.

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

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it at room temperature and out of the bathroom and other places with excessive heat and moisture.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilizing a medicine take-back program is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programs in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back program, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments.

No one else should take your medication. It is a regulated substance, this medication. Only a limited amount of refills are permitted for prescriptions; if you have any doubts, speak with your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Farbital®
  • Fiorinal®
  • Fiormor®
  • Fiortal®
  • Fortabs®
  • Idenal®
  • Isollyl®
  • Laniroif®
  • Lanorinal®
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