Generic ingredients: Butalbital with aspirin and caffeine.

Other brand names: Axotal, B-A-C, Butalbital Compound, Fiorgen PF, Isollyl Improved, Lanorinal, Marnal.


Fiorinal is a non-narcotic analgesic combination. It reduces the activity of certain brain chemicals and relieves pain. 

Quick Facts About Fiorinal


Used to treat tension headaches and migraines.

Fiorinal Dosage

Take as soon as a headache begins. To avoid stomach irritation, take with a full glass of water or food. Do not take if medication has a strong vinegar odor. Do not increase dosage without consulting your doctor.

  • Usual adult dose: 1 or 2 tablets or capsules every 4 hours, not to exceed 6 tablets or capsules per day.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children under 12 years.
  • Missed dose: if taking on a regular schedule, take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Fiorinal Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

due to barbiturate component of medication — coma, confusion, drowsiness, low blood pressure, shock, slow or troubled breathing. Due to aspirin and caffeine components of medication — abdominal pain, deep and/or rapid breathing, delirium, high fever, inability to fall or stay asleep, rapid or irregular heartbeat, restlessness, ringing in the ears, seizures, tremor, vomiting. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

Less common or rare side effects: dizziness, drowsiness.

Less common Fiorinal side effects: gas, light-headedness, nausea, rash, skin problems, vomiting.


Inform your doctor before combining Fiorinal with:

acetazolamide (Diamox); antidepressants such as Elavil, Norpramin, Nardil, and Parnate; beta-block-ers such as Inderal and Tenormin; blood thinners such as Coumadin; narcotic pain relievers such as Darvon and Percocet; oral contraceptives; oral diabetes medications such as Micronase; sleep aids such as Halcion, Nembutal, and phenobarbital; steroid medications such as prednisone; theophylline (Theo-Dur); tranquilizers such as Librium, Valium, and Xanax; valproic acid (Depakene or Depakote).

Fiorinal intensifies the effects of alcohol; avoid alcohol use while taking this medication. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Butalbital and aspirin appear in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not generally prescribed for children under 12 years.

  • Do not take if you have porphyria unless specifically instructed by your doctor.
  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Do not administer to children or teenagers suffering from flu or chicken pox; may cause Reye’s syndrome.
  • Tell your doctor if you have an ulcer or a disorder affecting the blood clotting process before taking Fiorinal.
  • May experience dependence if taken for prolonged periods of time.
  • Should not take if sensitive to or allergic to similar medications to butalbital, barbiturates, aspirin, or other sedatives or pain relievers.
  • Consult with your doctor if chronic tension headaches continue after taking this medication.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Fiorinal side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.