If you’re struggling with constant All kinds of Headache, your doctor might prescribe you a medication called Fioricet. This proprietary, brand name medication is actually a combination of other medications.
Fioricet is a combination medication that is used to treat complex tension headaches when other medications have not been effective.
Fioricet is a combination medication used to treat migraines or severe headaches. Learn the uses, effects and how to use Fioricet safely.
- Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine) works better and faster in treating tension headaches than the combination of acetaminophen and codeine.
- Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine) has a cheaper, generic version.
- Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine) does not require dosage adjustments if you have kidney and liver problems.
What is Fioricet?
- butalbital 50mg
- acetaminophen 300mg
- caffeine 40mg
It’s FDA-approved to treat symptoms of a common type of headache known as tension headache but is also prescribed off-label for migraine.
Butalbital APAP Caffeine is used to treat tension headaches. Acetaminophen helps to decrease the pain from the headache. Caffeine helps increase the effects of acetaminophen. Butalbital is a sedative that helps to decrease anxiety and cause sleepiness and relaxation.
Butalbital APAP Caffeine has following side effects: Bloated or “gassy” feeling, dizziness or lightheadedness (mild), drowsiness (mild), nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain (occurring without other symptoms of overdose), Bleeding or crusting sores on lips, chest pain, fever with or without chills, hive-like swellings (large) on eyelids, face, lips, and/or tongue, muscle cramps or pain
Butalbital APAP Caffeine can not be taken for a long time, your body may get used to it so that larger amounts are needed to produce the same effects. This is called tolerance to the medicine. Also, butalbital may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence) when it is used for a long time or in large doses. Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal side effects when you stop taking the medicine. In patients who get headaches, the first symptom of withdrawal may be new (rebound) headaches.
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Fioricet is supplied in hard-gelatin capsule form for oral administration.
Each capsule contains the following active ingredients:
Butalbital, USP……………………50 mg
Acetaminophen, USP…………….300 mg
Caffeine, USP……………………..40 mg
Inactive Ingredients: sodium lauryl sulfate, talc, microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, FD&C red # 40, titanium dioxide, FD&C blue # 1,FD&C yellow # 6, gelatin.
The basic component is, surprisingly enough, acetaminophen, a common pain relieving medication that you can easily get over the counter. Since it’s mixed with another powerful medication, though, it’s something that you can only get by prescription.
The second ingredient in this medication is Butalbital, which is a barbiturate, commonly used to relieve muscle tension. Since many of the worst All kinds of Headache that you can get are actually caused by tense muscles in the neck and shoulders, this is a very helpful addition to a very helpful pain killer.
The formulation of this medication is accentuated with a dose of caffeine. Although caffeine doesn’t necessarily stop All kinds of Headache, it does have an effect on the central nervous system. It stimulates the veins and relaxes them, allowing blood to flow more freely. This, in and of itself, can have a mild pain relieving effect on All kinds of Headache. However, it’s mainly useful because it can help the other two drugs to be delivered to the body’s various systems more easily.
Fioricet is a medication that you need a prescription for, but you don’t necessarily have to buy it through traditional pharmacies. These days, online pharmacies are very popular for buying medications like these. It’s easy because you don’t have to actually go anywhere to get your medications. They can be delivered right to your door for a minimal cost.
Before you purchase Fioricet online, though, make sure that you’re getting it from a reputable online drugstore where you are assured of the quality of your medication and the quantity you’re going to get.
One of the main advantages of buying online is that you can save money, too, but make sure you’re getting what you pay for with this medication.
Many people who purchase Fioricet online find that they enjoy the utter privacy of it. No one needs to know that you’re suffering from All kinds of Headache, but you can get relief easily and quickly by having your medication delivered to your door. One you start taking this medication, you’ll see just how quickly and effectively it works on All kinds of Headache of all sorts, and you’ll be able to get rid of your All kinds of Headache more efficiently than ever before.
Fioricet Clinical Pharmacology
This combination drug product is intended as a treatment for tension headache.
It consists of a fixed combination of butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine. The role each component plays in the relief of the complex of symptoms known as tension headache is incompletely understood.
The behavior of the individual components is described below.
Butalbital is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and is expected to distribute to most 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 include 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% is conjugated.
The in vitro plasma protein binding of butalbital is 45% over the concentration range of 0.5-20 mcg/mL. This falls within the range of plasma protein binding (20%-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.
Acetaminophen is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and is distributed throughout most body tissues. The plasma half-life is 1.25 to 3 hours, but may be increased by liver damage and following overdosage. Elimination of acetaminophen is principally by liver metabolism (conjugation) and subsequent renal excretion of metabolites. Approximately 85% of an oral dose appears in the urine within 24 hours of administration, most as the glucuronide conjugate, with small amounts of other conjugates and unchanged drug.
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 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 is recovered in the urine, only 3% is unchanged drug.
Fioricet is indicated for the relief of the symptom complex of tension (or muscle contraction) headache.
Evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of this combination product in the treatment of multiple recurrent headaches is unavailable. Caution in this regard is required because butalbital is habit-forming and potentially abusable.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use Fioricet if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
You should not use Fioricet if you are allergic to acetaminophen, butalbital, or caffeine, if you have porphyria, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.
To make sure Fioricet is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver disease, cirrhosis, a history of alcoholism or drug addiction, or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day;
- kidney disease;
- asthma, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorder;
- stomach ulcer or bleeding;
- a history of skin rash caused by any medication;
- a history of mental illness or suicidal thoughts; or
- if you use medicine to prevent blood clots.
It is not known whether Fioricet will harm an unborn baby. If you use butalbital while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
What should I avoid while taking Fioricet?
This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.
While you are taking this medication, avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor’s advice.
Fioricet Side Effects
The most frequently reported adverse reactions are drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling.
All adverse events tabulated below are classified as infrequent.
Central Nervous System: headache, shaky feeling, tingling, agitation, fainting, fatigue, heavy eyelids, high energy, hot spells, numbness, sluggishness, seizure. Mental confusion, excitement, or depression can also occur due to intolerance, particularly in elderly or debilitated patients, or due to overdosage of butalbital.
Autonomic Nervous System: dry mouth, hyperhidrosis.
Gastrointestinal: difficulty swallowing, heartburn, flatulence, constipation.
Musculoskeletal: leg pain, muscle fatigue.
Miscellaneous: pruritus, fever, earache, nasal congestion, tinnitus, euphoria, allergic reactions.
Several cases of dermatological reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis and erythema multiforme, have been reported.
The following adverse drug events may be borne in mind as potential effects of the components of this product. Potential effects of high dosage are listed in the OVERDOSAGE section.
Acetaminophen: allergic reactions, rash, thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis.
Caffeine: cardiac stimulation, irritability, tremor, dependence, nephrotoxicity, hyperglycemia.
Following an acute overdosage of butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine, toxicity may result from the barbiturate or the acetaminophen. Toxicity due to caffeine is less likely, due to the relatively small amounts in this formulation.
Signs and Symptoms
Toxicity from barbiturate poisoning includes drowsiness, confusion, and coma; respiratory depression; hypotension; and hypovolemic shock.
In acetaminophen overdosage: dose-dependent, potentially fatal hepatic necrosis is the most serious adverse effect. Renal tubular necrosis, hypoglycemic coma, and coagulation defects may also occur. Early symptoms following a potentially hepatotoxic overdose may include: nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis, and general malaise. Clinical and laboratory evidence of hepatic toxicity may not be apparent until 48 to 72 hours post-ingestion.
Acute caffeine poisoning may cause insomnia, restlessness, tremor, and delirium, tachycardia and extrasystoles.
A single or multiple drug overdose with this combination product is a potentially lethal polydrug overdose, and consultation with a regional poison control center is recommended. Immediate treatment includes support of cardiorespiratory function and measures to reduce drug absorption.
Oxygen, intravenous fluids, vasopressors, and other supportive measures should be employed as indicated. Assisted or controlled ventilation should also be considered.
Gastric decontamination with activated charcoal should be administered just prior to N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to decrease systemic absorption if acetaminophen ingestion is known or suspected to have occurred within a few hours of presentation. Serum acetaminophen levels should be obtained immediately if the patient presents 4 hours or more after ingestion to assess potential risk of hepatotoxicity; acetaminophen levels drawn less than 4 hours post-ingestion may be misleading. To obtain the best possible outcome, NAC should be administered as soon as possible where impending or evolving liver injury is suspected.
Intravenous NAC may be administered when circumstances preclude oral administration.
Vigorous supportive therapy is required in severe intoxication. Procedures to limit the continuing absorption of the drug must be readily performed since the hepatic injury is dose dependent and occurs early in the course of intoxication.
Fioricet Drug Interaction
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Chloral Hydrate
- Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome
- Iobenguane I 131
- Peginterferon Alfa-2b
- Pneumococcal 13-Valent Vaccine, Diphtheria Conjugate
- Sodium Oxybate
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.