Requesting some feedback on medicine doctor gave me (BUTLBTL/APAP/CAFF 50/325/40 TB)

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Voozi
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/18/2007 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I've been getting headaches/migraines for a long time now (ever since I was little). I'm 18 years old now (19 next month) and a few months ago I started visiting a neurologist doctor dude about the headaches/migraines I get. He gave me some log and wanted me to log my headaches. I had gotten 12 total headaches in a month, 6 of them being migraines. The doctor was thinking of giving me Topamax but he said he didn't want me on such a medication at a young age due to some long term effects it may have on me.

Long story short, he prescribed me some ... well i have no idea what it's called but on the bottle is says BUTLBTL/APAP/CAFF 50/325/40 TB and I'm supposed to take them when ever I get a headache/migraine. I have yet to take them yet since I usually like to look up or get some type of feedback on what I'm putting in my body, so I'm wondering, does anyone here have any expierence w/ this medication. If so, how has it worked for you? And are there any kinds of side effects I should know about?

Thanks!

PS: I've just been taking Excedrin Migrain for my headaches/migraines and had my 7th one for this month today (4th one this week X_x)

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8263
   Posted 8/18/2007 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Your local pharmacist should be able to help you with your questions about this medication, just let them (he/she) know it's the first time you've ever had this medication. If that yeilds no results you could look it up online with a Google search. Good luck to you and soft Hugz to you too.......I hope the medication can help you!

Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 8/19/2007 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Voozi,

Welcome to Healing Well. I agree with Chartreux, you must either talk to your doctor again or talk to a pharmacist to get some more information about this drug. You may find the pharmacist will give you more detail.

I tried to google the info you have given but was not able to come up with anything as google did not accept the name in its present form!

Wishing you well with this! Take care

Ann
Co-Moderator of the Migraine/Headache Forum


pita
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 8/19/2007 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
call the pharmacy where your rx was filled. did they give you an info sheet? if they did it should have the brand name on it. the info on the bottle is the generic ingredients in the medicine. if they didn't or you can't find it, don't worry, just call the pharmacy. most pharmacists are very helpful with any questions you have about meds. mine even helped me with some homework a couple of times.

i was rx'd the same meds for my migraines, being told i would get better relief from my migraines with it than i was getting from excedrine though i wasn't there for new meds but for another issue entirely. anyway, all it did for me was make me feel horrible. i was better off with the migraine and excedrine. but i am also almost twice your age and i have severe reactions to most medicines. docs have tried imatrex which had worse results, and they tried elavil twice. first time i was a little younger than you and the second time was last year. i had different reactions each time. different people react differently to medications. even the same person can react differently to the same medication at different times as was teh case with elavil with me.
call the pharmacist about the questions about your medication, and the next trip to the doc, ask about other preventatives as there are more than topamax, if you want a preventative.

Voozi
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/19/2007 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Yea I tried googling it as well but nothing came up, but thanks everythough for your time and help.

I just noticed this now, but on the bottle it also says "SUBTST FOR: FIORICET" so I'm just assuming that what he gave me was Fioricet or pretty much the same thing as it, sicne when I googled Fioricet and got this page http://www.drugs.com/fioricet.html, it says

Fioricet
acetaminophen/butalbital/caffeine

So I'm just going to go off what this site says and assume its pretty much the same stuff I'm taking. But once again, thanks for your input and help, and I'll be sure to take your suggestions and call up the pharmacy where I got it filled at for more info on it.

kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 8/19/2007 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, that's the generic for Fioricet. There are a couple of threads on this med in recent weeks (although one involves a version which includes codeine, which your prescription apparently doesn't). I've found Fioricet very effective in stopping pain once a headache has started -- I've been taking it for nearly 20 years, so the abbreviations were very familiar to me!

If you're averaging 12 headaches a month, you may want to talk further with your doctor about preventatives, which include things like Topamax (lots of doctors swear by it but it has numerous side effects), Elavil, and dozens of other possibilities. If the doctor thinks Topomax is too much for someone your age, another preventative might be more appropriate.

Be careful about taking the Fioricet and/or Excedrin too often. More than 2 or 3 days a week of ANY painkiller, prescription or over the counter, puts you at real risk for rebound headache, a vicious cycle you don't want to get into.

Good luck!

Voozi
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/19/2007 10:11 PM (GMT -6)   
kymark said...
Yes, that's the generic for Fioricet. There are a couple of threads on this med in recent weeks (although one involves a version which includes codeine, which your prescription apparently doesn't). I've found Fioricet very effective in stopping pain once a headache has started -- I've been taking it for nearly 20 years, so the abbreviations were very familiar to me!

If you're averaging 12 headaches a month, you may want to talk further with your doctor about preventatives, which include things like Topamax (lots of doctors swear by it but it has numerous side effects), Elavil, and dozens of other possibilities. If the doctor thinks Topomax is too much for someone your age, another preventative might be more appropriate.

Be careful about taking the Fioricet and/or Excedrin too often. More than 2 or 3 days a week of ANY painkiller, prescription or over the counter, puts you at real risk for rebound headache, a vicious cycle you don't want to get into.

Good luck!


Ah thanks for the info. But yea I didnt know about "rebound headaches" first time hearing about those, so thanks for the warning on that. I know this week I've taken Excedrin Migraine 4 times (Sunday, Weds, Thurs, Saturday) and the week before that I took it 2 times (Tuesday, Thursday)

As for the prevention medications such as Topamax, the doctor told me that if my headaches start appearing more frequently, then he'd prescribe them to me.

But once again, thanks for your input and time, I'll probably give this medication he gave me a shot next time It's needed, since I've been holding off on these until I found more information on them.

CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 8/19/2007 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey Voozi,

You are exactly where I was 24 years ago.  You are taking Fioricet.  It is a combination of Butalbital, Tylenol, and caffeine.  It is a fairly mild pain medication, but stronger than Over-The-Counter pain meds.  It is a good medication, but if the dosage you are currently prescribed is not taking care of the migraine, do not take more.  Also, don't augment it with any other medication.  Explain your problem to your doctor and ask if he can change the prescription to Fioricet w/ codeine.  This adds a small amount of narcotic pain medication, which should help.  However, because codeine can be addictive, you MUST absolutely follow the prescribed dosage schedule. 

The next step is critical.  Stop taking the Excedrin immediately!  It is fine for the occasional tension headache, but can throw you into a cycle of REBOUND HEADACHES, if you take it more than one or two days a week.  From your original post, having 4 headaches in a week screams REBOUND.  The ONLY way to break the rebound cycle is to stop taking all pain medications, prescribed and OTC.  Going cold turkey is hell, but you will have to suffer through it to get all the mediations out of your system.  Pain medication of any kind should be taken not more than one or two days a week.

Please check with your doctor as soon as possible about changing your meds.  If your doctor wants to put you on a preventative, please don't let him start you on Topamax.  There are so many others to try, and Topamax has horrible side effects for many people.

Please see your doctor and let us know how you are doing.

Leigh Ann cool


Basic info:
  • On Disablility for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ 
  • Divorced, 42, no children
  • Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Gallbladder Removed (followed by a week in the hospital for a Blood Clot), Kidney Stone Removed, Broken Ankle, Major Dental work(four molars pulled, multiple cavities, root canals) 
  • Current Meds: Lexapro, Klonopin, Wellbutrin, Migranol, Trazadone, Buspar, Nexium, Skelaxin,  Phenergan, Chantix, Iron Pills, PROHIBITED FROM ALL NSAIDS
  • Current Problem: Internal Bleeding, possible ulcer in location of Gastric Bypass
 
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett
 
 


Voozi
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/20/2007 12:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Yea I understand not to take more then the dosage says and stuff. Hmm so if I am suffering these rebound headaches, how long do I have to go without taking any kinds of medication?

As for the preventative, yea the doctor told me a long term effect can be kidney stones and i was like O_O no thanks! But if it ever comes down to me needing preventatives, I'll be sure to ask him what other kinds of medications there are out there

Thanks again for your time

CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 8/20/2007 5:47 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey Voozi,

Your last post just made my blood turn cold.  Find a new doctor immediately.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.  Seriously, any doctor that would not put you on a preventative because of a possible side effect you might get, should have his license take away.  There are so many different kinds of preventatives, surely there is an appropriate number of preventatives that wouldn't affect your kidneys.  Your age should not preclude you from being prescribed a preventative.  However, I do agree that avoiding Topamax is a very good recommendation.

What you need to be doing is continuing to keep your migraine log, but you need to write down every thing that preceded the attack, in addition to date and time.  That includes things like what you were doing, what mood you were in, what the weather/temperature was like, what you had to eat or drink in the past several hours, where you are in your monthly cycle, any bright lights or loud noises, eye strain...virtually anything you can think of that might be relavent.  Over time, you should see some sort of pattern show up.  These patterns you see repeating are your triggers, the things that start your migraine attack.  Some of the triggers you can control, like if a food or beverage, a certain activity, etc...  Simply avoid them.  Others, like hormone changes or changes in the weather, there's not a blasted thing you can do about them, except take an abortive medication immediately to try and cut the attack off at the beginning.  If you do not have an abortive medication already prescribed, you need to find a doctor that will start you out on one until you find one that works for you.  This may take some time, but it's worth it to know that if you do start to get at migraine, you have something to help out.  Pain meds should only be used as a last resort.

As I said in my previous post, the only way to stop the rebound cycle is to quit the pain meds cold turkey.  You will be positively miserable until all the meds are out of your system.  How long that will takes varies from person to person, but you can count on at least a week or so.  For you, I hope it is shorter not longer.

Best wishes and let us know how things are going or if you have any more questions.

Leigh Ann cool


Basic info:
  • On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ 
  • Divorced, 42, no children
  • Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Gallbladder Removed (followed by a week in the hospital for a Blood Clot), Kidney Stone Removed, Broken Ankle, Major Dental work(four molars pulled, multiple cavities, root canals) 
  • Current Meds: Lexapro, Klonopin, Wellbutrin, Stadol Nasal Spray, Lortab, Trazadone, Buspar, Nexium, Skelaxin, Tramadol, Phenergan, Chantix PROHIBITED FROM ALL NSAIDS
  • Current Problem: Internal Bleeding, possible ulcer in location of Gastric Bypass
 
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett
 
 


kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 8/20/2007 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
If you've "only" had 12 headaches in the past month, you probably aren't suffering from rebound headache yet. Rebound tends to be more chronic than that. But what you want to do is avoid it, by not taking painkillers more than 2-3 days per week. The less the better.

I don't think it's unreasonable for a doctor to avoid prescribing preventatives because of side effects. Most meds have side effects, and you just have to decide what's worse -- the side effects or the headaches. The key question for me is, does your doctor include you in these decisions, or is he/she making them for you. In my opinion, a good doctor provides you with information about the likely benefits and risks of a medication and helps you make an informed decision.

Best,
Kymark

Voozi
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/20/2007 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Yea since it was my first time visiting a neurologist I had no idea about the different kinds of medications, let alone that there were medicines that prevented headaches, so in my mind I just assumed the Topamax was the only option. When he did mention it, and told me a long term side effect can include kidney stones, he did tell me as long as I drink lots of water I should be fine, and I told him that I drink alot of water a day. I mean I know it does seem a little weird and awkward he didn't want to give me it, but I agreed that I don't want to start being on a long term medication at an early age.

As for my headache diary, I've been logging them but It's hard for me to pin point what exactly causes these headaches for me. I know usually when the weather is kind of crappy and muggy out, or when its raining or if its about to rain, I'll get a headache. Stress gives me headaches sometimes. Sometimes when I dont eat much I'll get a headache. Lack of sleep can cause headaches for me as well. And other times I'll just be sitting around the house watching tv or on the computer and then a headache will come out. So to me it's hard to determine what exactly causes them and what patern there is (if any) that's causing them. I havent really been too specific w/ the logs though, but I'll start on that when September rolls around

During a headache, high exposure to light bothers me so when I'm laying down in my room, I'll shut of my light, close my door, and the window shades so try and make my room as dark as possible. Lots of noise bothers me as well. Sometimes I'll feel like anxious (not too often) and/or irritable (like sometimes even the smallest thing will put me in a bad mood). The one I hate the most though, is if its late at night and I'm trying to sleep, sometimes my headaches will give me trouble sleeping and I'll start getting frustrated and stressed about it which of coarse isn't helping the headache situation lol. And then sometimes when I'm laying down and/or trying to sleep, it's hard for me to just like stay in 1 spot on my bed, like for some reason I'm always tossing and turning.

What I've been typing here is what I've told the doctor as well, only thing he really said to me besides prescribing the medication was to try and get out of the house more often and to try and to do stuff (since I told him I really dont go out much). As for the preventatives, I'm going to give these headaches 1-2 more months, and see if when the fall semester starts for college if my headaches start occuring more often, and if that's the case I'll pay him another visit and ask to be put on the preventatives, I'll also be sure to ask him what other types there are out there and then from there try and find out which one is best for me.

Thanks once again for all your help, and sorry if I rambled too much! lol

AngMichelle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 789
   Posted 8/21/2007 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
WILL CAUSE REBOUNDS if taken the slightest bit 'too often". I found this med. to do nothing for me, but my aunt uses it often and has relief with it.
becareful with the exedrin too, it can really cause rebounds. The general rule for us migrainers, is no pain medications more than twice a week, OTC or prescription. thats a hard one to follow, but helpfull.
DX-Migraines:PCOS(should have seen this list before!!)
Meds; imitrex inj, stadol ns PRN severe h/a
 ProzAC 40mg, Klonopin 1mg BID , Ambien 10mg
PRN, Pherergan, Actiq 600mcg(fentanyl suckers) for migraine breakthrough pain
 Doing engergy medicine!!!!
 
May God give you a reason to smile today, an extra reason to laugh, and bring joy to your soul.


Voozi
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/22/2007 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
AngMichelle said...
WILL CAUSE REBOUNDS if taken the slightest bit 'too often". I found this med. to do nothing for me, but my aunt uses it often and has relief with it.
becareful with the exedrin too, it can really cause rebounds. The general rule for us migrainers, is no pain medications more than twice a week, OTC or prescription. thats a hard one to follow, but helpfull.


Thanks

fullmetalbell
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/3/2008 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Heyy so I get really bad migraines and they are not rebound migraines... I also get them 2-4 times a week anywhere from 1-4 days at a time. I was on Topomax before at about your age bc the doctors didn't think I would be able to go away to college with how sick I got, so I was on Topomax for about a year and it changed my life, I rarely ever got migraines maybe once every 2-3 months, it was amazing! The helpful effects of Topomax just recently wore off ( its been about 5 yrs since I was last on it ) and my migraines have unfortunately returned... I started up Topomax again and I swear by it.... the only side effects I had was a bit of numbness and tingling in my arms and legs for the first few weeks, and I lost the taste of carbonated soda for a few weeks until i became adjusted to the medication. What people do not understand is Topomax IS NOT a long term medication, it is prescribed to you until you see drastic changes in your migraine routine that become regular, then you will be taken off of the medication. As for the long term side effects, I try to drink plenty of fluids to avoid kidney stones and just watch other things that effect the liver (i.e. alcohol and other medications ) to be safe. But, I figure popping OTC medication too often is just as bad if not worse for your body... not to mention...Topomax has a lasting effect on your migraines, it took 4 years being off the prescription for my migraines to return. But, I too am on Fioricet and it works for me in the case that I get an extreme migraine that is lasts for mutiple days, it really helps me but I find that taking it and then laying down in a dark room to take a nap has a pretty immediate effect. Watch out with Fioricet do not take any other pain relievers on it and make sure not to drink alcohol. But, no offense to the others I wouldn't listen to their NEY saying about Topomax, everyone is different and has different side effects but I happen to know quite a few people on the medication that have had no problems and their quality of life has greatly improved.

Cheryl1018
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 2/4/2008 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry to hear you are getting migraines at such a young age.  Hopefully your doctor has suggested some preventative meds as well as prescribing that medication.   The one you are taking is the generic (not name brand) of Fioricet.   It does work well with some types of migraines, just be very careful to follow the dosing instructions.  You can get re-bound headaches from withdrawal if you take too much.
 

What is Fioricet?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer.
Butalbital is in a class of drugs called barbiturates that slow down your central nervous system (brain and nerve impulses) causing relaxation.
Caffeine is believed to constrict dilated blood vessels that may contribute to tension headaches.
Together, acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine are used to relieve complex tension (muscle contraction) headaches although precisely how it works is unknown.
Fioricet may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.



Complete Hysterectomy 1991 due to Endo
Fibro/IBD
Migraines - bad ones!! Ow.
Save a life - adopt a shelter dog!!
 


sacto
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/5/2008 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
It's either Fiorcet or Fiorinal.  Basically either otc excedrine plus butabarbital (Fiorinal) or tylenol plus butabarbital.
 
It's an old medicine.  For me it's a wonder drug.  Works with no side effects unless I take a lot (>3) at one time.  Take it when you THINK you're about to get a migraine.  DO NOT wait.  This works best if you can catch the headache before it really starts. 
 
FYI - I think they just made it a triplicate form drug. 
 
 

Phadra
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/9/2010 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I have severe migraine headaches as well. My doctor prescriped BUTLBTL/APAP/CAFF 50/325/40 TB to be taken along with Maxalt 10 MG Tablets. My Dr. told me that the Maxmalt 10 MG tablets takes time to be effective, about 30 minutes to one hour. When I have a severe migraine headache, which I define as a migraine headache that has been coming on for 2 to 3 days & shows not sign of going away I take the Maxalt 10 MG Tablets (Maxalt aslo comes in Melt tablets too).I was told by my physician to take the BUTLBTL along with the Maxalt 10 MG Tablets to control the pain faster. To date, I have never taken the BUTLBTL by itsel for with the Maxalt 10 MG Tablets, but I hold it in reserve as an emergency type of treatment.

I do not know the side effects of BUTLBTL/APAP/CAP 50/325/40 TB other than NO ALCHOL and not to drive a vcehicle. I do not know if it is bad for pregant women or women who are planning to have a baby in the near furture, or what effects it has on your internal organs long term.

I would go back and ask your doctor about long term and short term use, I know I plan to.

HealingHands
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/30/2012 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Voozi, Leigh Ann has a good idea to do the journaling -- it does take a lot of time, but it is well worth it. Do you drink Red Bull or alot of caffeine? I did not read all the posts, so I'm not sure if you've ever seen a neurologist, but when I was having mine, I saw a neuro-opthamologist since I was having the eye socket pain and face pain and keeping track of triggers really helped. When I cut back the caffeine, it helped; then when I started having a headache I could actually use the caffeine as a pain reliever. It's hard to cut back on caffeine, if that's the problem, so it you could find something else to drink that you like, it does help. Also, do you have other conditions such as spinal problems... Also, stress is a big factor. You probably did all the research and know a lot of this, but there are other options. I used to work at a pain management facility and they can give you injections to relieve the pain; you may want to check this out. Hope you can find relief. Good luck and take care.

ElizabethF
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/3/2012 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I just joined this forum yesterday. My PCP had me on the same medication. You may try looking up "Fiornal". I believe that is the same thing.
I did not have luck with this medication. It lessened my headache but did not wipe it out. My PCP did give me samples called BUPAP. This med had the butalbital and Acetominophen but not the caffeine. That actually helped me more. My neurologist told me to not take the Butlbtl/APA/CAFF much because it can lead to rebound headaches. That has been my experience. I do hope you get some relief.

luckydog1977
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 10/5/2012 11:17 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are in the states, at 15 days of migraine pain, not 15 headaches....you qualify for botox injections. I still have to take verapamil as a preventive but the botox has really helped me. Just a thought...
GAD, panic disorder, bipolar1, GERD migraine with aura, hemiplegic migraine, prolonged q t interval, tachycardia, arrhythmia, fibromyalgia, polycystic ovarian disease, PTSD

Klonopin, Cymbalta, Abilify, Eskalith,Lyrica, Flexeril, TalwinNX, Prilosec, Verapamil, Toprol XL, Synthroid, Lipitor, Phenergan, Melatonin, Multivitamin, B12, b complex, vitamin c, magnesium, vitamin d (50,000iu's prescribed)
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