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Butalbital, Acetaminophen, Caffeine, and Codeine

Pronunciation

(byoo TAL bi tal, a seet a MIN oh fen, KAF een, & KOE deen)

Index Terms

  • Acetaminophen, Caffeine, Codeine, and Butalbital
  • Acetaminophen / Butalbital / Caffeine / Codeine
  • Butalbit / Acetamin / Caff / Codeine
  • Caffeine, Acetaminophen, Butalbital, and Codeine
  • Codeine, Acetaminophen, Butalbital, and Caffeine

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Capsule, oral: Butalbital 50 mg, acetaminophen 300 mg, caffeine 40 mg, and codeine phosphate 30 mg; Butalbital 50 mg, acetaminophen 325 mg, caffeine 40 mg, and codeine phosphate 30 mg

Fioricet with Codeine: Butalbital 50 mg, acetaminophen 300 mg, caffeine 40 mg, and codeine phosphate 30 mg

Fioricet with Codeine: Butalbital 50 mg, acetaminophen 325 mg, caffeine 40 mg, and codeine phosphate 30 mg [DSC]

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Fioricet with Codeine

Pharmacologic Category

  • Analgesic Combination (Opioid)
  • Analgesic, Opioid
  • Barbiturate

Pharmacology

Combination product for the treatment of tension headache. Contains codeine (opioid analgesic), butalbital (barbiturate), caffeine (CNS stimulant), and acetaminophen (nonopioid, nonsalicylate analgesic).

Use: Labeled Indications

Relief of symptoms of complex tension (muscle contraction) headache

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to butalbital, codeine, caffeine, acetaminophen, or any component of the formulation; porphyria; postoperative pain management in children who have undergone tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy

Dosing: Adult

Oral: Adults: 1-2 capsules every 4 hours. Total daily dosage should not exceed 6 capsules.

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

No dosage adjustments recommended. Use with caution due to increased risk of adverse effects.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

No dosage adjustments recommended; use with caution. Limited, low-dose therapy usually well tolerated in hepatic disease/cirrhosis. However, cases of hepatotoxicity at daily acetaminophen dosages <4 g/day have been reported.

Storage

Store below 30°C (86°F).

Drug Interactions

Abiraterone Acetate: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Acebrophylline: May enhance the stimulatory effect of CNS Stimulants. Avoid combination

Adenosine: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may diminish the therapeutic effect of Adenosine. Management: Monitor for decreased effect of adenosine if patient is receiving caffeine. Discontinue caffeine in advance of scheduled diagnostic use of adenosine whenever possible. Consider therapy modification

Alcohol (Ethyl): May enhance the hepatotoxic effect of Acetaminophen. Monitor therapy

Alvimopan: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Alvimopan. This is most notable for patients receiving long-term (i.e., more than 7 days) opiates prior to alvimopan initiation. Management: Alvimopan is contraindicated in patients receiving therapeutic doses of opioids for more than 7 consecutive days immediately prior to alvimopan initiation. Consider therapy modification

Amphetamines: May enhance the analgesic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Monitor therapy

Anticholinergic Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Specifically, the risk for constipation and urinary retention may be increased with this combination. Monitor therapy

Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Monitor therapy

AtoMOXetine: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. AtoMOXetine may enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy

Azelastine (Nasal): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Azelastine (Nasal). Avoid combination

Barbiturates: May increase the metabolism of Acetaminophen. This may 1) diminish the effect of acetaminophen; and 2) increase the risk of liver damage. Exceptions: Amobarbital; Butabarbital; Butalbital; Methohexital; PENTobarbital; Secobarbital; Thiopental. Monitor therapy

Beta-Blockers: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Exceptions: Atenolol; Levobunolol; Metipranolol; Nadolol. Monitor therapy

Blonanserin: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Blonanserin. Consider therapy modification

Blood Pressure Lowering Agents: Barbiturates may enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Busulfan: Acetaminophen may increase the serum concentration of Busulfan. Monitor therapy

Calcium Channel Blockers: Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers. Management: Monitor for decreased therapeutic effects of calcium channel blockers with concomitant barbiturate therapy. Calcium channel blocker dose adjustments may be necessary. Nimodipine Canadian labeling contraindicates concomitant use with phenobarbital. Exceptions: Clevidipine. Monitor therapy

Cannabis: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

CarBAMazepine: May increase the metabolism of Acetaminophen. This may 1) diminish the effect of acetaminophen; and 2) increase the risk of liver damage. Monitor therapy

Chloramphenicol: May decrease the metabolism of Barbiturates. Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Chloramphenicol. Consider therapy modification

Cholestyramine Resin: May decrease the absorption of Acetaminophen. Effect is minimal if cholestyramine is administered 1 hour after acetaminophen. Consider therapy modification

Ciprofloxacin (Systemic): May increase the serum concentration of Caffeine. Monitor therapy

CNS Depressants: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Contraceptives (Estrogens): Barbiturates may diminish the therapeutic effect of Contraceptives (Estrogens). Contraceptive failure is possible. Management: Use of a non-hormonal contraceptive is recommended. Consider therapy modification

Contraceptives (Progestins): Barbiturates may diminish the therapeutic effect of Contraceptives (Progestins). Contraceptive failure is possible. Management: Use of alternative, nonhormonal contraceptives is recommended. Consider therapy modification

CycloSPORINE (Systemic): Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of CycloSPORINE (Systemic). Consider therapy modification

CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Moderate): May decrease the metabolism of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Strong): May decrease the metabolism of CYP1A2 Substrates. Consider therapy modification

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Moderate): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Codeine. These CYP2D6 inhibitors may prevent the metabolic conversion of codeine to its active metabolite morphine. Monitor therapy

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Strong): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Codeine. These CYP2D6 inhibitors may prevent the metabolic conversion of codeine to its active metabolite morphine. Consider therapy modification

Dapsone (Topical): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents. Monitor therapy

Dasatinib: Acetaminophen may enhance the hepatotoxic effect of Dasatinib. Dasatinib may increase the serum concentration of Acetaminophen. Consider therapy modification

Deferasirox: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Desmopressin: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Desmopressin. Monitor therapy

Dimethindene: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Diuretics: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Diuretics. Analgesics (Opioid) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Diuretics. Monitor therapy

Doxofylline: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Doxofylline. Avoid combination

Doxycycline: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Doxycycline. Consider therapy modification

Doxylamine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: The manufacturer of Diclegis (doxylamine/pyridoxine), intended for use in pregnancy, specifically states that use with other CNS depressants is not recommended. Monitor therapy

Dronabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Droperidol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider dose reductions of droperidol or of other CNS agents (e.g., opioids, barbiturates) with concomitant use. Consider therapy modification

Eluxadoline: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the constipating effect of Eluxadoline. Avoid combination

Felbamate: May increase the serum concentration of Barbiturates. Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Felbamate. Management: Monitor for elevated barbiturate concentrations/toxicity if felbamate is initiated/dose increased, or reduced concentrations/effects if felbamate is discontinued/dose decreased. Refer to phenobarbital dosing guidelines for patients receiving that agent. Monitor therapy

Flunitrazepam: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Flunitrazepam. Consider therapy modification

Formoterol: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Formoterol. Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Formoterol. Monitor therapy

Fosphenytoin-Phenytoin: May decrease the serum concentration of Acetaminophen. Specifically, serum concentrations of acetaminophen may be decreased (leading to decreased efficacy), but the formation of the toxic N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI) metabolite may be increased (leading to increased hepatotoxicity). Monitor therapy

Griseofulvin: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Griseofulvin. Monitor therapy

Hemin: Barbiturates may diminish the therapeutic effect of Hemin. Avoid combination

HYDROcodone: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of HYDROcodone. Management: Consider starting with a 20% to 30% lower hydrocodone dose when using together with any other CNS depressant. Dose reductions in the other CNS depressant may also be warranted. Consider therapy modification

HydrOXYzine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Barbiturates. Management: Consider a decrease in the barbiturate dose, as appropriate, when used together with hydroxyzine. With concurrent use, monitor patients closely for excessive response to the combination. Consider therapy modification

Imatinib: Acetaminophen may enhance the hepatotoxic effect of Imatinib. Monitor therapy

Indacaterol: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Indacaterol. Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Indacaterol. Monitor therapy

Iobenguane I 123: Sympathomimetics may diminish the therapeutic effect of Iobenguane I 123. Avoid combination

Isoniazid: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Acetaminophen. Monitor therapy

Kava Kava: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

LamoTRIgine: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of LamoTRIgine. Management: See lamotrigine prescribing information for specific age-dependent dosing guidelines regarding concurrent use with a barbiturate, as well as for adjusting lamotrigine dosing if concurrent barbiturate therapy is discontinued. Consider therapy modification

Linezolid: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Management: Reduce initial doses of sympathomimetic agents, and closely monitor for enhanced pressor response, in patients receiving linezolid. Specific dose adjustment recommendations are not presently available. Consider therapy modification

Lithium: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may decrease the serum concentration of Lithium. Monitor therapy

Magnesium Sulfate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

MAO Inhibitors: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Codeine. Monitor therapy

Meperidine: Barbiturates may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Meperidine. Barbiturates may increase serum concentrations of the active metabolite(s) of Meperidine. Monitor therapy

Methotrimeprazine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Methotrimeprazine. Methotrimeprazine may enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Reduce adult dose of CNS depressant agents by 50% with initiation of concomitant methotrimeprazine therapy. Further CNS depressant dosage adjustments should be initiated only after clinically effective methotrimeprazine dose is established. Consider therapy modification

MetyraPONE: May increase the serum concentration of Acetaminophen. More importantly, by inhibiting the conjugative metabolism of acetaminophen, metyrapone may shift the metabolism towards the oxidative route that produces a hepatotoxic metabolite. Monitor therapy

MetyroSINE: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of MetyroSINE. Monitor therapy

Mianserin: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Barbiturates. Mianserin may diminish the therapeutic effect of Barbiturates. Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Mianserin. Avoid combination

Minocycline: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Mipomersen: Acetaminophen may enhance the hepatotoxic effect of Mipomersen. Monitor therapy

Mirtazapine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Mirtazapine. Monitor therapy

Mixed Agonist / Antagonist Opioids: May diminish the analgesic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Seek alternatives to mixed agonist/antagonist opioids in patients receiving pure opioid agonists, and monitor for symptoms of therapeutic failure/high dose requirements (or withdrawal in opioid-dependent patients) if patients receive these combinations. Avoid combination

Multivitamins/Minerals (with ADEK, Folate, Iron): May decrease the serum concentration of Barbiturates. Monitor therapy

Nabilone: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Nalmefene: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Avoid the concomitant use of nalmefene and opioid analgesics. Discontinue nalmefene 1 week prior to any anticipated use of opioid analgesics. If combined, larger doses of opioid analgesics will likely be required. Consider therapy modification

Naltrexone: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Seek therapeutic alternatives to opioids. See full drug interaction monograph for detailed recommendations. Consider therapy modification

Nitric Oxide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents. Combinations of these agents may increase the likelihood of significant methemoglobinemia. Management: Monitor patients for signs of methemoglobinemia (e.g., hypoxia, cyanosis) when nitric oxide is used in combination with other agents associated with development of methemoglobinemia. Avoid lidocaine/prilocaine. Monitor therapy

Norfloxacin: May increase the serum concentration of Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products. Monitor therapy

Obeticholic Acid: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Olodaterol: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Olodaterol. Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Olodaterol. Monitor therapy

Orphenadrine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Orphenadrine. Avoid combination

OxyCODONE: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of OxyCODONE. Management: When oxycodone is combined with another CNS depressant, a dose reduction of one or both agents should be considered. The extended release oxycodone starting dose should be reduced 50% to 67% when initiated in patients already receiving CNS depressants. Consider therapy modification

Paraldehyde: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Paraldehyde. Avoid combination

Peginterferon Alfa-2b: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Pegvisomant: Analgesics (Opioid) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Pegvisomant. Monitor therapy

Perampanel: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Patients taking perampanel with any other drug that has CNS depressant activities should avoid complex and high-risk activities, particularly those such as driving that require alertness and coordination, until they have experience using the combination. Consider therapy modification

Phenylephrine (Systemic): Acetaminophen may increase the serum concentration of Phenylephrine (Systemic). Monitor therapy

Piribedil [INT]: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Piribedil [INT]. Monitor therapy

Pramipexole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Pramipexole. Monitor therapy

Prilocaine: Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Prilocaine. Combinations of these agents may increase the likelihood of significant methemoglobinemia. Management: Monitor patients for signs of methemoglobinemia (e.g., hypoxia, cyanosis) when prilocaine is used in combination with other agents associated with development of methemoglobinemia. Avoid lidocaine/prilocaine in infants receiving such agents. Monitor therapy

Primidone: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Barbiturates. Primidone is converted to phenobarbital, and thus becomes additive with existing barbiturate therapy. Monitor therapy

Probenecid: May increase the serum concentration of Acetaminophen. Probenecid may also limit the formation of at least one major non-toxic metabolite, possibly increasing the potential for formation of the toxic NAPQI metabolite. Consider therapy modification

Propacetamol: Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Propacetamol. This may 1) diminish the desired effects of propacetamol; and 2) increase the risk of liver damage. Monitor therapy

Pyridoxine: May increase the metabolism of Barbiturates. Apparent in high pyridoxine doses (eg, 200 mg/day) Monitor therapy

Ramosetron: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the constipating effect of Ramosetron. Monitor therapy

Regadenoson: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may diminish the vasodilatory effect of Regadenoson. Management: Avoiding using caffeine or other methylxanthine containing products (e.g., theophylline) for at least 12 hours prior to the administration of regadenoson. Consider therapy modification

Rifamycin Derivatives: May increase the metabolism of Barbiturates. Monitor therapy

ROPINIRole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of ROPINIRole. Monitor therapy

Rotigotine: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Rotigotine. Monitor therapy

Rufinamide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Specifically, sleepiness and dizziness may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: CNS Depressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Specifically, the risk of psychomotor impairment may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Serotonin Modulators: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Exceptions: Nicergoline. Monitor therapy

Sodium Nitrite: Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Sodium Nitrite. Combinations of these agents may increase the likelihood of significant methemoglobinemia. Monitor therapy

Sodium Oxybate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider alternatives to combined use. When combined use is needed, consider minimizing doses of one or more drugs. Use of sodium oxybate with alcohol or sedative hypnotics is contraindicated. Consider therapy modification

Somatostatin Acetate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Barbiturates. Specifically, Somatostatin Acetate may enhance or prolong Barbiturate effects, including sedative effects. Avoid combination

Somatostatin Analogs: May decrease the metabolism of Codeine. The formation of two major codeine metabolites (morphine and norcodeine) may be impaired by somatostatin analogs. Monitor therapy

SORAfenib: Acetaminophen may enhance the hepatotoxic effect of SORAfenib. SORAfenib may increase the serum concentration of Acetaminophen. Consider therapy modification

Stiripentol: May increase the serum concentration of Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products. Avoid combination

Succinylcholine: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Monitor therapy

Suvorexant: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Suvorexant. Management: Dose reduction of suvorexant and/or any other CNS depressant may be necessary. Use of suvorexant with alcohol is not recommended, and the use of suvorexant with any other drug to treat insomnia is not recommended. Consider therapy modification

Sympathomimetics: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy

Tapentadol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Start tapentadol at a dose of one-third to one-half of the normal dose if being initiated in a patient who is taking another drug with CNS depressant effects. Monitor closely for evidence of excessive CNS depression. Consider therapy modification

Tedizolid: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Tedizolid may enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy

Teniposide: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Teniposide. Management: Consider alternatives to combined treatment with barbiturates and teniposide due to the potential for decreased teniposide concentrations. If the combination cannot be avoided, monitor teniposide response closely. Consider therapy modification

Teriflunomide: May decrease the serum concentration of Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products. Monitor therapy

Tetracaine (Topical): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents. Monitor therapy

Tetrahydrocannabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Thalidomide: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Thalidomide. Avoid combination

Theophylline Derivatives: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Theophylline Derivatives. Exceptions: Dyphylline. Monitor therapy

Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: Barbiturates may enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics. Monitor therapy

TiZANidine: CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of TiZANidine. Management: Avoid these combinations when possible. If combined use cannot be avoided, initiate tizanidine at an adult dose of 2 mg and increase in 2-4 mg increments based on patient response. Monitor for increased effects of tizanidine, including adverse reactions. Consider therapy modification

Tricyclic Antidepressants: Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Tricyclic Antidepressants. Consider therapy modification

Trimeprazine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Ulipristal: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Ulipristal. Avoid combination

Valproate Products: May increase the serum concentration of Barbiturates. Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Valproate Products. Monitor therapy

Vemurafenib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates. Management: Consider alternatives to such combinations whenever possible, particularly if the CYP1A2 substrate has a relatively narrow therapeutic index. Consider therapy modification

Vitamin K Antagonists (eg, warfarin): Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Vitamin K Antagonists. Management: Monitor INR more closely. An anticoagulant dose increase may be needed after a barbiturate is initiated or given at an increased dose. Anticoagulant dose decreases may be needed following barbiturate discontinuation or dose reduction. Consider therapy modification

Voriconazole: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Voriconazole. Avoid combination

Zolpidem: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Zolpidem. Management: Reduce the Intermezzo brand sublingual zolpidem adult dose to 1.75 mg for men who are also receiving other CNS depressants. No such dose change is recommended for women. Avoid use with other CNS depressants at bedtime; avoid use with alcohol. Consider therapy modification

Test Interactions

Acetaminophen may produce false-positive tests for urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid; codeine may increase serum amylase levels

Adverse Reactions

Frequency not defined.

Cardiovascular: Syncope, tachycardia

Central nervous system: Agitation, confusion, depression, dizziness, drowsiness, euphoria, excitement, fatigue, headache, increased energy, intoxicated feeling, lethargy, numbness, paresthesia, sedation, seizure, shakiness

Dermatologic: Hyperhidrosis, pruritus

Endocrine & metabolic: Hot flash

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain, constipation, dysphagia, flatulence, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, xerostomia

Genitourinary: Diuresis

Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitivity reaction

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Leg pain, muscle fatigue

Otic: Otalgia, tinnitus

Respiratory: Dyspnea, nasal congestion

Miscellaneous: Fever, heavy eyelids

Postmarketing and/or case reports (Limited to important or life-threatening): Hypogonadism (Brennan, 2013; Debono 2011)

Note: Potential reactions associated with components of Fioricet with Codeine include agranulocytosis, cardiac stimulation, dependence, erythema multiforme, hyperglycemia, irritability, nephrotoxicity, rash, thrombocytopenia, toxic epidermal necrolysis, tremor

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Hepatotoxicity:

These products contain acetaminophen. Acetaminophen has been associated with cases of acute liver failure, at times resulting in liver transplant and death. Most of the cases of liver injury are associated with the use of acetaminophen at dosages that exceed 4,000 mg/day, and often involve more than 1 acetaminophen-containing product.

Ultra-rapid metabolism of codeine to morphine:

Respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy and had evidence of being ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine due to a cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) polymorphism.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• CNS depression: May cause CNS depression, which may impair physical or mental abilities; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks which require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery or driving).

• Hepatotoxicity: [U.S. Boxed Warning]: Acetaminophen may cause severe hepatotoxicity, potentially requiring liver transplant or resulting in death; hepatotoxicity is usually associated with excessive acetaminophen intake (>4 g/day). Risk is increased with alcohol use, preexisting liver disease, and intake of more than one source of acetaminophen-containing medications. Chronic daily dosing in adults has also resulted in liver damage in some patients.

• Hypersensitivity/anaphylactic reactions: Hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions have been reported with acetaminophen use; discontinue immediately if symptoms of allergic or hypersensitivity reactions occur.

• Phenanthrene hypersensitivity: Use with caution in patients with hypersensitivity reactions to other phenanthrene-derivative opioid agonists (hydrocodone, hydromorphone, levorphanol, oxycodone, oxymorphone).

• Skin reactions: Rarely, acetaminophen may cause serious and potentially fatal skin reactions such as acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Discontinue treatment if severe skin reactions develop.

Disease-related concerns:

• Abdominal conditions: May obscure diagnosis or clinical course of patients with acute abdominal conditions.

• Adrenal insufficiency: Use with caution in patients with adrenal insufficiency, including Addison disease. Long-term opioid use may cause secondary hypogonadism, which may lead to sexual dysfunction, infertility, mood disorders, and osteoporosis (Brennan, 2013).

• Biliary tract impairment: Use codeine with caution in patients with biliary tract dysfunction, including acute pancreatitis; may cause constriction of sphincter of Oddi.

• Drug abuse: Use with caution in patients with a history of drug abuse or acute alcoholism; potential for drug dependency exists. Tolerance, psychological and physical dependence may occur with prolonged use.

• Ethanol use: Use with caution in patients with alcoholic liver disease; consuming ≥3 alcoholic drinks/day may increase the risk of liver damage.

• G6PD deficiency: Use with caution in patients with known G6PD deficiency.

• Head trauma: Use with extreme caution in patients with head injury, intracranial lesions, or elevated intracranial pressure; exaggerated elevation of ICP may occur.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with severe hepatic impairment.

• Prostatic hyperplasia/urinary stricture: Use with caution in patients with prostatic hyperplasia and/or urinary stricture.

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with severe renal impairment.

• Respiratory disease: Use with caution in patients with preexisting respiratory compromise (hypoxia and/or hypercapnia), COPD or other obstructive pulmonary disease, and kyphoscoliosis or other skeletal disorder which may alter respiratory function; critical respiratory depression may occur, even at therapeutic dosages.

• Thyroid dysfunction: Use with caution in patients with thyroid dysfunction.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Sedatives: Effects may be potentiated when used with other sedative drugs or ethanol.

Special populations:

• CYP2D6 “ultrarapid metabolizers”: Use caution in patients with two or more copies of the variant CYP2D6*2 allele; may have extensive conversion from codeine to morphine and thus increased opioid-mediated effects. Avoid the use of codeine in these patients; consider alternative analgesics such as morphine or a nonopioid agent (Crews, 2012). The occurrence of this phenotype is seen in 0.5% to 1% of Chinese and Japanese, 0.5% to 1% of Hispanics, 1% to 10% of Caucasians, 3% of African-Americans, and 16% to 28% of North Africans, Ethiopians, and Arabs.

• Debilitated patients: Use with caution in debilitated patients; there is a greater potential for critical respiratory depression, even at therapeutic dosages.

• Elderly: Use with caution in the elderly; may be more sensitive to adverse effects. Decrease initial dose.

• Pediatric: [U.S. Boxed Warning]: Respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy and were found to have evidence of being ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine due to a CYP2D6 polymorphism. Deaths have also occurred in nursing infants after being exposed to high concentrations of morphine because the mothers were ultra-rapid metabolizers. Use of codeine is contraindicated in the postoperative pain management of children who have undergone tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Caffeine: May cause CNS and cardiovascular stimulation, as well as GI irritation in high doses. Use with caution in patients with a history of peptic ulcer or GERD; avoid in patients with symptomatic cardiac arrhythmias.

• Dosage limit: Limit acetaminophen dose from all sources (prescription and OTC) to <4 g/day.

Monitoring Parameters

Hepatic and renal function tests (in patients with impairment); signs or symptoms of hypogonadism or hypoadrenalism (Brennan, 2013)

Pregnancy Risk Factor

C

Pregnancy Considerations

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with this combination. Withdrawal seizures were reported in an infant 2 days after birth following maternal use of a butalbital product during the last 2 months of pregnancy; butalbital was detected in the newborns serum. Also refer to individual monographs for information specific to acetaminophen, caffeine, or codeine.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience abdominal pain, vomiting, or nausea. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of liver problems (dark urine, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or jaundice), severe dizziness, passing out, change in balance, confusion, anxiety, loss of strength and energy, severe constipation, mood changes, burning or numbness feeling, tinnitus, seizures, severe headache, difficulty breathing, slow breathing, shallow breathing, noisy breathing, severe fatigue, tremors, or signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin [with or without fever]; red or irritated eyes; or sores in mouth, throat, nose, or eyes) (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

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