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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Barbiturates, Aspirin, and Codeine

Barbiturates, Aspirin, and Codeine (Systemic)

Description and Brand Names | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects

  • Analgesic - Butalbital, Aspirin, Caffeine, and Codeine; Phenobarbital, Aspirin, and Codeine

‡ In Canada, Aspirin is a brand name. Acetylsalicylic acid is the generic name in Canada. ASA, a synonym for acetylsalicylic acid, is the term that commonly appears on Canadian product labels.


Barbiturate (bar-BI-tyoo-rate) , aspirin, and codeine combinations are used to relieve headaches and other kinds of pain. These combination medicines may provide better pain relief than either aspirin or codeine used alone. In some cases, relief of pain may come at lower doses of each medicine.

Codeine is a narcotic analgesic (nar-KOT-ik an-al-JEE-zik) that acts in the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain. Many of its side effects are also caused by actions in the CNS. Butalbital and phenobarbital belong to the group of medicines called barbiturates. Barbiturates also act in the CNS to produce their effects.

When you use a barbiturate or codeine for a long time, your body may get used to the medicine so that larger amounts are needed to produce the same effects. This is called tolerance to the medicine. Also, barbiturates and codeine may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence) when they are used for a long time or in large doses. Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the medicine. In patients who get headaches, the first symptom of withdrawal may be new (rebound) headaches.

The butalbital, aspirin, and codeine combination also contains caffeine (kaf-EEN). Caffeine may help to relieve headaches. However, caffeine can also cause physical dependence when it is used for a long time. This may lead to withdrawal (rebound) headaches when you stop taking it.

Aspirin is not a narcotic and does not cause physical dependence. However, it may cause other unwanted effects if too much is taken.

These combination medicines are available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Butalbital, Aspirin, Caffeine, and Codeine
    • Capsules (U.S. and Canada)
    • Tablets (U.S.)
  • Phenobarbital, Aspirin, and Codeine
    • Capsules (Canada)

Brand Names

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S. -

  • Ascomp with Codeine No.3 1
  • Butalbital Compound with Codeine 1
  • Butinal with Codeine No.3 1
  • Fiorinal with Codeine No.3 1
  • Idenal with Codeine 1
  • Isollyl with Codeine 1

In Canada -

  • Fiorinal-C 1/4 1
  • Fiorinal-C 1/2 1
  • Phenaphen with Codeine No.3 2
  • Tecnal-C 1/4 1
  • Tecnal-C 1/2 1


For quick reference, the following combination medicines are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following medicines:
1. Butalbital, Aspirin, and Codeine ‡ (byoo-TAL-bi-tal AS-pir-in and KOE-deen)
2. Phenobarbital, Aspirin, and Codeine ‡ (fee-noe-BAR-bi-tal AS-pir-in and KOE-deen)*
* Not commercially available in the U.S.


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Barbiturates, Aspirin, and Codeine: Before Using

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