BUTALBITAL, ASPIRIN, AND CAFFEINE- butalbital, aspirin and caffeine capsule
A-S Medication Solutions
Butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules are supplied in capsule form for oral administration.
Each capsule contains the following active ingredients:
butalbital, USP…………………….. 50 mg
aspirin, USP………………………… 325 mg
caffeine, USP………………………. 40 mg
Butalbital (5-allyl-5-isobutylbarbituric acid) is a short- to intermediate-acting barbiturate. It has the following structural formula:
Aspirin (benzoic acid, 2-(acetyloxy)-) is an analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory. It has the following structural formula:
Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine) is a central nervous system stimulant. It has the following structural formula:
Inactive Ingredients: pregelatinized starch, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, trimyristin, talc, colloidal silicon dioxide, D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Green No. 3, and gelatin. The capsule imprinting ink contains: shellac glaze in ethanol, iron oxide black, n-butyl alcohol, propylene glycol, ethanol, methanol, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, and D&C Yellow No.10 Aluminum Lake.
Pharmacologically, butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules combine the analgesic properties of aspirin with the anxiolytic and muscle relaxant properties of butalbital.
The clinical effectiveness of butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules in tension headache has been established in double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-clinic trials. A factorial design study compared butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules with each of its major components. This study demonstrated that each component contributes to the efficacy of butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules in the treatment of the target symptoms of tension headache (headache pain, psychic tension, and muscle contraction in the head, neck, and shoulder region). For each symptom and the symptom complex as a whole, butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules were shown to have significantly superior clinical effects to either component alone.
The behavior of the individual components is described below.
The systemic availability of aspirin after an oral dose is highly dependent on the dosage form, the presence of food, the gastric emptying time, gastric pH, antacids, buffering agents, and particle size. These factors affect not necessarily the extent of absorption of total salicylates but more the stability of aspirin prior to absorption.
During the absorption process and after absorption, aspirin is mainly hydrolyzed to salicylic acid and distributed to all body tissues and fluids, including fetal tissues, breast milk, and the central nervous system (CNS). Highest concentrations are found in plasma, liver, renal cortex, heart, and lung. In plasma, about 50% to 80% of the salicylic acid and its metabolites are loosely bound to plasma proteins.
The clearance of total salicylates is subject to saturable kinetics; however, first-order elimination kinetics are still a good approximation for doses up to 650 mg. The plasma half-life for aspirin is about 12 minutes and for salicylic acid and/or total salicylates is about 3 hours.
The elimination of therapeutic doses is through the kidneys either as salicylic acid or other biotransformation products. The renal clearance is greatly augmented by an alkaline urine as is produced by concurrent administration of sodium bicarbonate or potassium citrate.
The biotransformation of aspirin occurs primarily in the hepatocytes. The major metabolites are salicyluric acid (75%), the phenolic and acyl glucuronides of salicylate (15%), and gentisic and gentisuric acid (1%). The bioavailability of the aspirin component of butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules is equivalent to that of a solution except for as lower rate of absorption. A peak concentration of 8.8 mcg/mL was obtained at 40 minutes after a 650 mg dose.
See OVERDOSAGE for toxicity information.
Butalbital is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and is expected to distribute to most of the tissues in the body. Barbiturates, in general, may appear in breast milk and readily cross the placental barrier. They are bound to plasma and tissue proteins to a varying degree and binding increases directly as a function of lipid solubility.
Elimination of butalbital is primarily via the kidney (59% to 88% of the dose) as unchanged drug or metabolites. The plasma half-life is about 35 hours. Urinary excretion products included parent drug (about 3.6% of the dose), 5-isobutyl-5-(2, 3-dihydroxypropyl) barbituric acid (about 24% of the dose), 5-allyl-5(3-hydroxy-2-methyl-1-propyl) barbituric acid (about 4.8% of the dose), products with the barbituric acid ring hydrolyzed with excretion of urea (about 14% of the dose), as well as unidentified materials. Of the material excreted in the urine, 32% was conjugated.
The bioavailability of the butalbital component of butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules is equivalent to that of a solution except for a decrease in the rate of absorption. A peak concentration of 2,020 ng/mL is obtained at about 1.5 hours after a 100 mg dose.
The in vitro plasma protein binding of butalbital is 45% over the concentration range of 0.5 to 20 mcg/mL.This falls within the range of plasma protein binding (20% to 45%) reported with other barbiturates such as phenobarbital, pentobarbital, and secobarbital sodium. The plasma-to-blood concentration ratio was almost unity indicating that there is no preferential distribution of butalbital into either plasma or blood cells.
See OVERDOSAGE for toxicity information.
Like most xanthines, caffeine is rapidly absorbed and distributed in all body tissues and fluids, including the CNS, fetal tissues, and breast milk.
Caffeine is cleared rapidly through metabolism and excretion in the urine. The plasma half-life is about 3 hours. Hepatic biotransformation prior to excretion results in about equal amounts of 1-methylxanthine and 1-methyluric acid. Of the 70% of the dose that has been recovered in the urine, only 3% was unchanged drug.
The bioavailability of the caffeine component for butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules is equivalent to that of a solution except for a slightly longer time to peak. A peak concentration of 1,660 ng/mL was obtained in less than an hour for an 80 mg dose.
See OVERDOSAGE for toxicity information.
Butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules are indicated for the relief of the symptom complex of tension (or muscle contraction) headache. Evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules in the treatment of multiple recurrent headaches is unavailable. Caution in this regard is required because butalbital is habit-forming and potentially abusable.
Butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules are contraindicated under the following conditions:
- Hypersensitivity or intolerance to aspirin, caffeine, or butalbital.
- Patients with a hemorrhagic diathesis (e.g., hemophilia, hypoprothrombinemia, von Willebrand’s disease, the thrombocytopenias, thrombasthenia and other ill-defined hereditary platelet dysfunctions, severe vitamin K deficiency and severe liver damage).
- Patients with the syndrome of nasal polyps, angioedema and bronchospastic reactivity to aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in such patients.
- Peptic ulcer or other serious gastrointestinal lesions.
- Patients with porphyria.
Therapeutic doses of aspirin can cause anaphylactic shock and other severe allergic reactions. It should be ascertained if the patient is allergic to aspirin, although a specific history of allergy may be lacking.
Significant bleeding can result from aspirin therapy in patients with peptic ulcer or other gastrointestinal lesions, and in patients with bleeding disorders. Aspirin administered preoperatively may prolong the bleeding time. Butalbital is habit-forming and potentially abusable. Consequently, the extended use of butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules is not recommended. Results from epidemiologic studies indicate an association between aspirin and Reye’s Syndrome. Caution should be used in administering this product to children, including teenagers, with chicken pox or flu.
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus
Avoid use of NSAIDs, including butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules, in pregnant women at about 30 weeks gestation and later. NSAIDs including butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules, increase the risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus at approximately this gestational age.
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment
Use of NSAIDs, including butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules, at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy may cause fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios and, in some cases, neonatal renal impairment. These adverse outcomes are seen, on average, after days to weeks of treatment, although oligohydramnios has been infrequently reported as soon as 48 hours after NSAID initiation. Oligohydramnios is often, but not always, reversible with treatment discontinuation. Complications of prolonged oligohydramnios may, for example, include limb contractures and delayed lung maturation. In some post-marketing cases of impaired neonatal renal function, invasive procedures such as exchange transfusion or dialysis were required.
If NSAID treatment is necessary between about 20 weeks and 30 weeks gestation, limit butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules use to the lowest effective dose and shortest duration possible. Consider ultrasound monitoring of amniotic fluid if butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules treatment extends beyond 48 hours. Discontinue butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules if oligohydramnios occurs and follow up according to clinical practice [see PRECAUTIONS; Pregnancy ].
Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)
Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) has been reported in patients taking NSAIDs such as butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, and/or facial swelling. Other clinical manifestations may include hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis. Sometimes symptoms of DRESS may resemble an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. Because this disorder is variable in its presentation, other organ systems not noted here may be involved.
It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, discontinue butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules and evaluate the patient immediately.
Butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules should be prescribed with caution for certain special-risk patients such as the elderly or debilitated, and those with severe impairment of renal or hepatic function, coagulation disorders, head injuries, elevated intracranial pressure, acute abdominal conditions, hypothyroidism, urethral stricture, Addison’s disease, or prostatic hypertrophy.
Aspirin should be used with caution in patients on anticoagulant therapy and in patients with underlying hemostatic defects, and extreme caution in the presence of peptic ulcer.
Precautions should be taken when administering salicylates to persons with known allergies. Hypersensitivity to aspirin is particularly likely in patients with nasal polyps, and relatively common in those with asthma.
Patients should be informed that butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules contain aspirin and should not be taken by patients with an aspirin allergy.
Serious Skin Reactions, including DRESS
Advise patients to stop taking butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules immediately if they develop any type of rash or fever and to contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible [see WARNINGS ].
Butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery. Such tasks should be avoided while taking butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules.
Alcohol and other CNS depressants may produce an additive CNS depression when taken with butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules and should be avoided.
Butalbital may be habit-forming. Patients should take the drug only for as long as it is prescribed, in the amounts prescribed, and no more frequently than prescribed.
Inform pregnant women to avoid use of aspirin and other NSAIDs starting at 30 weeks gestation because of the risk of the premature closing of the fetal ductus arteriosus. If treatment with butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules is needed for a pregnant woman between about 20 to 30 weeks gestation, advise her that she may need to be monitored for oligohydramnios, if treatment continues for longer than 48 hours [see WARNINGS; Fetal Toxicity, PRECAUTIONS; Pregnancy].
In patients with severe hepatic or renal disease, effects of therapy should be monitored with serial liver and/or renal function tests.
The CNS effects of butalbital may be enhanced by monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors.
In patients receiving concomitant corticosteroids and chronic use of aspirin, withdrawal of corticosteroids may result in salicylism because corticosteroids enhance renal clearance of salicylates and their withdrawal is followed by return to normal rates of renal clearance.
Butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules may enhance the effects of:
- Oral anticoagulants, causing bleeding by inhibiting prothrombin formation in the liver and displacing anticoagulants from plasma protein binding sites.
- Oral antidiabetic agents and insulin, causing hypoglycemia by contributing an additive effect, if dosage of butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules exceeds maximum recommended daily dosage.
- 6-mercaptopurine and methotrexate, causing bone marrow toxicity and blood dyscrasias by displacing these drugs from secondary binding sites, and, in the case of methotrexate, also reducing its excretion.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, increasing the risk of peptic ulceration and bleeding by contributing additive effects.
- Other narcotic analgesics, alcohol, general anesthetics, tranquilizers such as chlordiazepoxide, sedative-hypnotics, or other CNS depressants, causing increased CNS depression.
Butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine capsules may diminish the effects of:
Uricosuric agents such as probenecid and sulfinpyrazone, reducing their effectiveness in the treatment of gout. Aspirin competes with these agents for protein binding sites.
Aspirin: Aspirin may interfere with the following laboratory determinations in blood: serum amylase, fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, protein, serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), uric acid, prothrombin time and bleeding time. Aspirin may interfere with the following laboratory determinations in urine: glucose, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, Gerhardt ketone, vanillylmandelic acid (VMA), uric acid, diacetic acid, and spectrophotometric detection of barbiturates.
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