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Butalbital Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Butalbital withdrawal symptoms may be a sign of dependence or addiction to certain medications that combine butalbital with acetaminophen or aspirin and caffeine to treat chronic pain and migraine headaches. These drugs are FDA approved and often prescribed by physicians, but the active ingredients are highly addictive. Butalbital specifically is a physically and psychologically addictive barbiturate.

When used for short-term treatment of pain, withdrawal symptoms are often minor and short-lived. However, barbiturates can be habit-forming and with long-term use, patients may build a tolerance to the drug as well as a psychological and physical dependence. This means that more of the drug is needed to have the same effect. As use continues, the withdrawal symptoms become more severe.

Stopping the use of butalbital-containing medications abruptly can result in a variety of withdrawal symptoms that can occur within eight to 36 hours of the last dose of medication and last up to seven days. These symptoms can include elevated body temperature and blood pressure, increased heart and respiratory rates, delirium, vomiting, tremors, ringing in the ears, breathing difficulties, drowsiness, raised consciousness, nervousness, disorientation, and severe headaches. Although rare, more serious withdrawal symptoms and signs include abnormal vital signs and seizures.

Butalbital withdrawal symptoms and signs typically decrease in intensity over a period of about two weeks, but treatment is often necessary during detoxification to manage symptoms and to prevent medical complications.

Withdrawing from Butalbital: Treatment Methods and Options for Help

Withdrawing from butalbital is a necessary part of the detoxification process. Symptoms can be intense because many detoxification treatment methods require that the patient stops the use of butalbital drugs completely to rid the body of its effects as rapidly as possible. Successful detoxification is vital to long-term recovery from butalbital addiction and is best achieved in a medically supervised environment.

There are several treatment options available for withdrawing from butalbital, but these can be narrowed down to three basic methods.

Gradual Detox

In some programs, the withdrawal and detoxification process is careful and gradual. For example, the patient is given the regular dosage of the drug for a short period and then this dosage is decreased daily to minimize the withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be treated in an outpatient setting with the use of benzodiazepines or phenobarbital, but regular medical supervision by your physician or a treatment facility is necessary.

Inpatient/Residential Detox

Inpatient or residential detoxification methods involve butalbital withdrawal treatment through rapid detoxification, where the patient stays in a medical facility and stops all doses of butalbital completely. This method is supervised by a medical professional and the patient is given care and medication to treat withdrawal symptoms until detoxification is complete. This method of butalbital withdrawal treatment is not recommended for outpatient treatment, because severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures or abnormal vital signs should be monitored and aggressively treated by a medical professional to ensure the patient's safety and overall good health.

Rapid Drug Detox

Rapid drug detox treatment methods may also utilize a medical procedure in which the patient detoxes under anesthesia, which eliminates most withdrawal symptoms. The patient is given medication that enables them to relax and then is put under a general anesthesia for about an hour. When the procedure is completed, recovery is carried out under close medical supervision. This procedure is available only on an inpatient treatment basis and can be an ideal long-term recovery method.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab, and Recovery

Detoxification is the first stage in treating butalbital addiction and typically lasts from seven days to a few weeks. This duration depends on the level of addiction and the patient's method of treatment.

As with many addiction treatment programs, rehab and recovery are recommended after detoxing. Rehab and recovery can be carried out in a variety of settings, such as a medical outpatient clinic with counseling services and group support or in a private or public-funded inpatient rehab facility. The benefit of an inpatient facility is that the patient receives around-the-clock care and support to ensure a successful recovery from butalbital addiction. This treatment option depends largely on the patient's situation and whether other commitments, such as a job, allow for inpatient care.

The critical first step in recovery is butalbital detoxification and treatment of withdrawal symptoms. If you or someone you know is battling butalbital withdrawal symptoms or showing signs of addiction, call 1-888-935-1318Who Answers? to contact a medical professional immediately and discover what your options are for treatment. Calls are private and there is no obligation or cost for information.

Butalbital Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Variable- Butalbital is used as a combination drug for pain relief
  • Generic Name Variations: Variable
  • Chemical Name: Butalbital
  • Brand Name: Varies
  • Brand Name Variations: Varies
  • Cost/Price: Varies
  • Used to Treat Addiction? No
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Varies
  • Function or Use at High Dose: Varies
  • Chemical Makeup: C11H16N2O3
  • System: barbiturate
  • Duration of Action: Varies
Form, Intake, and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Concentrated form or powder
  • Administration Routes: tablet taken orally
  • Dosage: Varies
  • Overdose: Varies
  • Alcohol Interaction: Increased intoxication
  • Illicit Drugs: Increases effects of opiates
  • Prescription Medications: Increases effect of opiate-based prescriptions
  • Contraindications: Varies
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Dizziness, drowsiness, intoxicated feeling, sedation, euphoria, constipation
  • Long-Term: Addiction, Steven-Johnson’s syndrome, tolerance
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: Moderate
  • Signs of Abuse: Depression, body tremors, memory loss, severe mood swings
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: 4-72 hours after the last dose
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Depression, body tremors, rage or anxiety
  • Tolerance: Tolerance is easily built to butalbital after extended use
  • Cross Dependence: Varies
  • Physical Dependence: High
  • Psychological Dependence: High
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule III Controlled Substance


Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How Long Do Butalbital Withdrawals Last?

While the duration of detox only lasts about 72 hours, the timeline of withdrawal from a system varies between different individuals. The length of withdrawal symptoms may last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Do You Have a List Popular Slang or Street Names for Butalbital?

Butalbital is found in other drugs as an ingredient.

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

Butalbital is incredibly dangerous and difficult to detox from. There are some claims that drinking teas or water will act as a natural detoxifier and rid your body of the butalbital; unfortunately, this will not help to ease the effects of withdrawal.

When trying to stop using butalbital based prescriptions it is important that you not use a home remedy or alternative methods to detox. You will be able to find the most relief by and success by using a professional treatment center. They have been trained to ease and relieve people who are dealing with withdrawal symptoms. You can find one in your area by calling 1-888-935-1318Who Answers? or visiting our locator page.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Butalbital?

The physical detox process may take between 24 and 72 hours. Because of the complicated nature of detoxification, there are many options and programs you can use to aid you in becoming and staying clean. Each system will have its own method, it is best to choose the one that you feel suits you best. Review the options near you by looking up local recovery centers or by calling 1-888-935-1318Who Answers?. Recovery and freedom can start with a simple phone call.

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