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Isollyl (Generic Aspirin, Butalbital, and Caffeine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Aspirin, Butalbital, and Caffeine are often prescribed together as a combination medication for the treatment of certain types of headaches, particularly tension headaches.

Here’s a breakdown of the components and their functions:

  • Aspirin: Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It also acts as a mild blood thinner, which can help improve blood flow.
  • Butalbital: Butalbital is a barbiturate that belongs to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It helps to relax muscle contractions and induce a sense of relaxation and sedation.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that helps to constrict blood vessels, particularly in the brain. It can enhance the effects of pain relievers and help relieve headaches.

The combination of these three ingredients in a single medication is believed to provide a more comprehensive approach to treating tension headaches. Aspirin helps with pain and inflammation, butalbital induces muscle relaxation and sedation, and caffeine constricts blood vessels and enhances the effects of pain relievers.

How should this medicine be used?

Aspirin, Butalbital, and Caffeine should be used exactly as prescribed by your healthcare professional. It is essential to follow their instructions or the directions provided on the medication label. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Read the instructions: Carefully read the medication guide or patient information leaflet that comes with the prescription. Familiarize yourself with the dosage instructions, possible side effects, and any precautions or warnings.
  • Dosage: Take the medication in the dosage recommended by your healthcare professional. The specific dosage will depend on your condition, medical history, and other factors. Do not exceed the prescribed dosage or take it more frequently than instructed.
  • Oral administration: Take the medication by mouth with a full glass of water, unless otherwise directed by your healthcare professional. Swallow the tablets whole; do not crush or chew them unless advised to do so.
  • Timing: Take the medication at the first sign of a headache or as soon as directed. Waiting too long may reduce its effectiveness. Follow the recommended dosing schedule and allow sufficient time between doses. Do not take more than the maximum daily dose.
  • Avoid certain substances: While taking this medication, it is generally recommended to avoid alcohol and other sedatives, as they can enhance the sedative effects of Butalbital.
  • Duration of use: Use this medication for the shortest duration necessary to alleviate your symptoms. Prolonged or excessive use can lead to dependency or rebound headaches.

Other uses for this medicine

Aspirin, Butalbital, and Caffeine are primarily prescribed for the treatment of tension headaches. However, it’s important to note that the use of medications should always be determined by a healthcare professional, and they may have additional off-label uses or indications. It is best to consult with your doctor for specific information regarding alternative uses of this combination medication.

What special precautions should I follow?

  • 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.
  • If you are or plan to become pregnant, or if you are nursing a baby, let your doctor know. If used about 20 weeks into the pregnancy or later, aspirin may be harmful to the fetus and complicate delivery. Except as directed by your physician, avoid using caffeine, butalbital, and aspirin around or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Call your physician if you become pregnant while using aspirin, butalbital, or caffeine.
  • This medication could make you sleepy, so you should be aware of it. Prior to understanding how this medication affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.
  • Keep in mind that drinking can increase the drowsiness brought on by this medicine.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Dietary instructions for Aspirin, Butalbital, and Caffeine:

  • While there are no specific dietary restrictions for these medications, it’s generally recommended to take them with a full glass of water to avoid stomach upset.
  • Avoid consuming excessive amounts of caffeine from other sources, such as coffee, tea, or energy drinks, as it can increase the risk of side effects like nervousness, restlessness, or rapid heartbeat.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • If you forget to take a dose of Aspirin, Butalbital, and Caffeine at the scheduled time, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one, as it may increase the risk of side effects.

What side effects can this medication cause?

There may be negative effects from coffee, butalbital, and aspirin. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, consult your doctor:

  • Drowsiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Bloody or black stools

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and individuals may experience different side effects or varying degrees of intensity. If you are prescribed this medication, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider for personalized information about potential side effects and any specific precautions or warnings based on your medical history.

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


  • Follow the instructions provided by your healthcare professional or the medication packaging for specific storage guidelines.
  • Store these medications at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, moisture, and heat.
  • Keep them out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not store medications in the bathroom or near the kitchen sink, as moisture and heat can degrade their effectiveness.


  • Do not keep expired or unused medications. Safely dispose of them to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse.
  • Check local regulations and guidelines for proper disposal methods. Some areas have take-back programs or designated drop-off locations for safe medication disposal.
  • If no specific instructions are available, mix the medications with an undesirable substance like coffee grounds or cat litter in a sealable bag or container before discarding them in the household trash. This helps prevent accidental ingestion by animals or humans.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency or overdose, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Here are some steps to take:

  • Call emergency services (e.g., 911 in the United States) right away if you or someone else has taken an excessive amount of these medications or if you suspect an overdose.
  • Provide the necessary information about the medication involved, the dosage taken (if known), and any symptoms or reactions observed.
  • Follow the instructions provided by emergency personnel or medical professionals.

What other information should I know?

  • Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower fever. However, it can increase the risk of bleeding and may interact with other medications or medical conditions.
  • Butalbital is a barbiturate that is often combined with other medications to treat tension headaches. It can cause drowsiness and should be used cautiously, as it may lead to dependence or withdrawal symptoms.
  • Caffeine is a stimulant that can help enhance the effects of pain relievers and improve alertness. However, excessive consumption of caffeine can cause side effects such as restlessness, rapid heartbeat, and insomnia.
  • It is essential to follow the recommended dosage and not exceed the prescribed or indicated amount of these medications.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about any other medications, supplements, or medical conditions you have, as they can affect the safety and effectiveness of these medications.

Always consult with your healthcare professional or pharmacist for specific guidance and instructions regarding the storage, disposal, and emergency procedures for any medications you are taking.

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