Fiorinal with Codeine: Package Insert and Label Information

FIORINAL WITH CODEINE- butalbital, aspirin, caffeine and codeine phosphate capsule
Allergan, Inc.


Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

FIORINAL with CODEINE exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient’s risk prior to prescribing FIORINAL with CODEINE, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1 )] .

Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)

To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a REMS for these products [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.2 )] . Under the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to

complete a REMS-compliant education program,

counsel patients and/or their caregivers, with every prescription, on safe use, serious risks, storage, and disposal of these products,

emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide every time it is provided by their pharmacist, and

consider other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety.

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of FIORINAL with CODEINE. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of FIORINAL with CODEINE or following a dose increase [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3 )] .

Accidental Ingestion

Accidental ingestion of even one dose of FIORINAL with CODEINE, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of FIORINAL with CODEINE [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3 )] .

Risks From Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines Or Other CNS Depressants

Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4 , 5.8 ), Drug Interactions ( 7 )] .

• Reserve concomitant prescribing of FIORINAL with CODEINE and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

• Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.

• Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

Ultra-Rapid Metabolism of Codeine and Other Risk Factors for Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Children

Life-threatening respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine. Most of the reported cases occurred following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, and many of the children had evidence of being an ultra-rapid metabolizer of codeine due to a CYP2D6 polymorphism [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.5 )] . FIORINAL with CODEINE is contraindicated in children younger than 12 years of age and in children younger than 18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy [see Contraindications ( 4 )] . Avoid the use of FIORINAL with CODEINE in adolescents 12 to 18 years of age who have other risk factors that may increase their sensitivity to the respiratory depressant effects of codeine.

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Prolonged use of FIORINAL with CODEINE during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.6 )] .

Interactions with Drugs Affecting Cytochrome P450 Isoenzymes

The effects of concomitant use or discontinuation of cytochrome P450 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with codeine are complex. Use of cytochrome P450 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with FIORINAL with CODEINE requires careful consideration of the effects on codeine, and the active metabolite, morphine [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.7 , 5.8 ), Drug Interactions ( 7 )] .


FIORINAL with CODEINE is indicated for the management of the symptom complex of tension (or muscle contraction) headache, when non-opioid analgesic and alternative treatments are inadequate.

Limitations of Use:
Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse with opioids and butalbital, even at recommended doses [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)] , reserve FIORINAL with CODEINE for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid, non-barbiturate analgesics):

  • Have not been tolerated, or are not expected to be tolerated,
  • Have not provided adequate analgesia, or are not expected to provide adequate analgesia


2.1 Important Dosage and Administration Instructions

Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)].

Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient’s severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)].

2.2 Patient Access to Naloxone for the Emergency Treatment of Opioid Overdose

Discuss the availability of naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose with the patient and caregiver and assess the potential need for access to naloxone, both when initiating and renewing treatment with FIORINAL with CODEINE [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3), Patient Counseling Information ( 17)].

Inform patients and caregivers about the various ways to obtain naloxone as permitted by individual state naloxone dispensing and prescribing requirements or guidelines (e.g., by prescription, directly from a pharmacist, or as part of a community-based program).

Consider prescribing naloxone, based on the patient’s risk factors for overdose, such as concomitant use of CNS depressants, a history of opioid use disorder, or prior opioid overdose. The presence of risk factors for overdose should not prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1, 5.3, 5.4)].

Consider prescribing naloxone if the patient has household members (including children) or other close contacts at risk for accidental ingestion or overdose.

2.3 Dosing Information

One or two capsules every 4 hours. Total daily dosage should not exceed 6 capsules.

2. 4 Safe Reduction or Discontinuation of FIORINAL with CODEINE

Do not abruptly discontinue FIORINAL with CODEINE in patients who may be physically dependent on opioids. Rapid discontinuation of opioid analgesics in patients who are physically dependent on opioids has resulted in serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, and suicide. Rapid discontinuation has also been associated with attempts to find other sources of opioid analgesics, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse. Patients may also attempt to treat their pain or withdrawal symptoms with illicit opioids, such as heroin, and other substances.

When a decision has been made to decrease the dose or discontinue therapy in an opioid dependent patient taking FIORINAL with CODEINE, there are a variety of factors that should be considered, including the dose of FIORINAL with CODEINE the patient has been taking, the duration of treatment, the type of pain being treated, and the physical and psychological attributes of the patient. It is important to ensure ongoing care of the patient and to agree on an appropriate tapering schedule and follow-up plan so that patient and provider goals and expectations are clear and realistic. When opioid analgesics are being discontinued due to a suspected substance use disorder, evaluate and treat the patient, or refer for evaluation and treatment of the substance use disorder. Treatment should include evidence-based approaches, such as medication assisted treatment of opioid use disorder. Complex patients with co-morbid pain and substance use disorders may benefit from referral to a specialist.

There are no standard opioid tapering schedules that are suitable for all patients. Good clinical practice dictates a patient-specific plan to taper the dose of the opioid gradually. For patients on FIORINAL with CODEINE who are physically opioid-dependent, initiate the taper by a small enough increment (e.g., no greater than 10% to 25% of the total daily dose) to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and proceed with dose-lowering at an interval of every 2 to 4 weeks. Patients who have been taking opioids for briefer periods of time may tolerate a more rapid taper.

It may be necessary to provide the patient with lower dosage strengths to accomplish a successful taper. Reassess the patient frequently to manage pain and withdrawal symptoms, should they emerge. Common withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other signs and symptoms also may develop, including irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate. If withdrawal symptoms arise, it may be necessary to pause the taper for a period of time or raise the dose of the opioid analgesic to the previous dose, and then proceed with a slower taper. In addition, monitor patients for any changes in mood, emergence of suicidal thoughts, or use of other substances.

When managing patients taking opioid analgesics, particularly those who have been treated for a long duration and/or with high doses for chronic pain, ensure that a multimodal approach to pain management, including mental health support (if needed), is in place prior to initiating an opioid analgesic taper. A multimodal approach to pain management may optimize the treatment of chronic pain, as well as assist with the successful tapering of the opioid analgesic [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.15), Drug Abuse and Dependence ( 9.3)].


Capsules: Butalbital, 50 mg, Aspirin, 325 mg, Caffeine, 40 mg, Codeine Phosphate, 30 mg

Blue cap with a yellow body. Cap is imprinted twice with “FIORINAL CODEINE” in red. Body is imprinted twice with “WATSON 956” in red.


FIORINAL with CODEINE is contraindicated for:

  • All children younger than 12 years of age [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.5)]
  • Postoperative management in children younger than 18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.5)]

FIORINAL with CODEINE is also contraindicated in patients with:

  • Significant respiratory depression [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.8)]
  • Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.8)]
  • Concurrent use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or use of MAOIs within the last 14 days [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.9) , Drug Interactions ( 7)]
  • Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.13)]
  • Hypersensitivity or intolerance to aspirin, caffeine, butalbital, or codeine.
  • Hemophilia [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.18)]
  • Reye’s Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.19)]
  • Known allergy to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.21)]
  • Syndrome of asthma, rhinitis, and nasal polyps [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.21)]


5. 1 Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

FIORINAL with CODEINE contains codeine. Codeine in combination with butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine is a Schedule III controlled substance. As FIORINAL with CODEINE contains butalbital and codeine, it exposes users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Drug Abuse and Dependence ( 9)].

Although the risk of addiction in any individual is unknown, it can occur in patients appropriately prescribed FIORINAL with CODEINE. Addiction can occur at recommended dosages and if the drug is misused or abused.

Assess each patient’s risk for addiction, abuse, or misuse prior to prescribing FIORINAL with CODEINE, and monitor all patients receiving FIORINAL with CODEINE for the development of these behaviors and conditions. Risks are increased in patients with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g., major depression). The potential for these risks should not, however, prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient. Patients at increased risk may be prescribed opioids such as FIORINAL with CODEINE, but use in such patients necessitates intensive counseling about the risks and proper use of FIORINAL with CODEINE along with intensive monitoring for signs of addiction, abuse, and misuse. Consider prescribing naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.2), Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)].

Opioids and barbiturates are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing FIORINAL with CODEINE. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in the smallest appropriate quantity and advising the patient on the proper disposal of unused drug [see Patient Counseling Information ( 17)]. Contact local state professional licensing board or state controlled substances authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the US Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual package label entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the US National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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