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Another caution concerns butalbital, which may be habit-forming and therefore has the potential to be abused.

If you overdose on Fioricet, toxicity is more likely to result from the butalbital and acetaminophen than the caffeine, since it is present in relatively small amounts.

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Fioricet is a combination of three ingredients: the pain reliever acetaminophen; butalbital, a barbiturate; and caffeine, a stimulant.

Chronic tension-type headaches are daily or continuous headaches where the intensity of the pain may vary during a 24-hour cycle. Tension headaches (stress headaches) are the most common form of headaches. Tension headaches are often triggered by tension and stress, fatigue, long periods of reading, typing or concentration (eye strain), hunger, postural imbalance, spine and neck injuries, high blood pressure and physical or emotional stress. Therefore, extended and repeated use of this product is not recommended. Two in three people will have at least one tension headache in their lifetime. A: Fioricet (butalbital-acetaminophen-caffeine) is a fixed combination drug product intended to treat tension or muscle contraction headaches. The most common side effects reported with Fioricet include drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling. Episodic tension-type headaches occur randomly and less frequently. Caffeine is thought to produce constriction of cerebral blood vessels. Butalbital, a barbiturate, may be habit-forming and potentially abusable. Tension headaches are caused by muscle tightening in the back of the neck and/or scalp, often triggered by emotional stress, fatigue, or depression. Butalbital has generalized depressant effect on the central nervous system and, in very high doses, has peripheral effects. Symptoms of tension headaches typically include tightness in the head or neck muscle, tightening band-like sensations around the neck and/or head (a "vice-like" ache), a dull, achy feeling on both sides of the head, and pain in the forehead, temples or back of the head and/or neck. Chronic tension-type headaches may also be accompanied by changes in sleep patterns or insomnia, early morning or late day occurrence of headache, weight loss, dizziness, poor concentration, ongoing fatigue, or nausea. There are two types of tension headaches: episodic tension-type and chronic tension-type headaches. Acetaminophen has analgesic and antipyretic effects; its analgesic effects may be mediated through inhibition of prostaglandin synthetase enzyme complex. They can be mild or severe and usually begin slowly and gradually-often starting in the middle of the day.

In 2003, Watson Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to Fioricet (Watson is now known as Actavis). Novartis Pharmaceuticals was the original manufacturer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Fioricet in 1984.

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These may include:. The effects of one or more of the drugs in Fioricet may enhance the effects of other drugs.

All three drugs found in Fioricet are found in small amounts in human milk, but the significance of that is not known.

It is best to ask the physician why this particular medication was chosen if you have concerns. For more information on Fioricet see /drugs/fioricet Lori Poulin, PharmD. It is not certain why the physician chose this medication for knee pain when there are so many others to select. A: Fioricet is a combination product that is usually prescribed for tension migraine headaches. Butalbital is a barbiturate and can become addictive if used for long periods of time; it can cause drowsiness so caution should be used during activities that require mental alertness such as driving. It contains acetaminophen (Tylenol), caffeine, and butalbital.

Those with a condition known as porphyria, a rare hereditary blood disorder, should not use Fioricet.

Fioricet is in Pregnancy Category C, according to the FDA, which means that injury to the developing fetus cannot be ruled out. Even so, the benefits of the drug to the mother must be weighed against the potential risk to the unborn baby.

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Like other barbiturates, it has the potential to cause physical and psychological dependence, which can lead to abuse. The butalbital in Fioricet belongs to a class of drugs called barbiturates, a central nervous system depressant.

However, in 2011 the FDA asked makers of prescription combination drugs with acetaminophen to limit the amount of that drug to no more than 325 mg in each tablet by 2014. This action was taken to protect consumers from severe liver damage, a risk linked with taking too much acetaminophen.

It works by relaxing muscle contractions that can result in mild to moderate head pain. Fioricet is a prescription medication used to relieve tension headaches.

If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor right away or go to the closest emergency room:

Fioricet with codeine carries a black-box warning about liver toxicity, and about the risk of respiratory problems and death in children caused by codeine.

By Kathleen Doheny| Medically Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD Latest Update:

Among the most commonly reported:

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No more than 6 tablets should be taken in a 24-hour period. You can also find helpful information on Fioricet at /drugs/fioricet. A: There is no known drug interaction among Paxil, Atenolol, Xanax, or Fioricet. Kimberly Hotz, PharmD. No studies indicate that Fioricet has any harm in heart disease. Fioricet can be taken with or without food. Also no other Tylenol (acetaminophen) should be taken with Fioricet to avoid a Tylenol overdose. Fioricet is a combination of butalbital, a barbituate pain reliever, acetaminophen, and caffeine.

Today Fioricet includes 320 mg of acetaminophen, though some versions of the product sold online still have 325 mg.

Fioricet is currently available from many manufacturers as a generic.

You should discuss with your doctor whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking the drug, weighing the benefits against the costs.

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Never double up on doses. However, if it is nearly time for the next dose, just resume your regular medication schedule. If you miss a scheduled dose, take it when you remember it.

Like all medicines, Fioricet can have side effects.

However, users can feel depressed and "crash" once the effects wear off. Some describe it as feeling intoxicated. Those who use too much Fioricet may report feeling so relaxed and stress-free that they seek out the drug as a way to get high.

Another formula, Fioricet with codeine, is also made by Actavis to treat tension headaches. It contains 30 mg of codeine in addition to the other three drugs, and has an increased acetaminophen dose of 325 mg.

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Most problems have occurred with an acetaminophen dose of more than 4,000 mg a day. Those affected are often taking more than one product containing acetaminophen at the same time or have underlying liver disease.

Among these are:. Other side effects of Fioricet are infrequent.

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You should not use Fioricet long term, due to the possibility for physical dependence and abuse.

Butalbital has a generalized depressant effect on the central nervous system and, in very high doses, has peripheral effects. Major withdrawal symptoms (convulsions and delirium) may occur within 16 hours and last up to 5 days after abrupt cessation of these drugs. Treatment of barbiturate dependence consists of cautious and gradual withdrawal of the drug. Tolerance, psychological dependence, and physical dependence may occur especially following prolonged use of high doses of barbiturates. As this occurs, the margin between an intoxication dosage and fatal dosage becomes smaller. Intensity of withdrawal symptoms gradually declines over a period of approximay 15 days. A: Fioricet (butalbital-acetaminophen-caffeine) is a combination drug indicated to treat tension or muscle contraction headaches. Caffeine is thought to produce constriction of cerebral blood vessels. One method involves initiating treatment at the patientâ€s regular dosage level and gradually decreasing the daily dosage as tolerated by the patient. Butalbital, a barbiturate, may be habit-forming and potentially abusable. As tolerance to barbiturates develops, the amount needed to maintain the same level of intoxication increases; tolerance to a fatal dosage, however, does not increase more than two-fold. Therefore, extended and repeated use of Fioricet is not recommended. Patients should take the drug only for as long as it is prescribed, in the amounts prescribed, and no more frequently than prescribed. Barbiturate-dependent patients can be withdrawn by using a number of different withdrawal regimens. The average daily dose for the barbiturate addict is usually about 1500 mg. Acetaminophen has analgesic and antipyretic effects; its analgesic effects may be mediated through inhibition of prostaglandin synthetase enzyme complex. The most common side effects reported with Fioricet include drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling. The lethal dose of a barbiturate is far less if alcohol is also ingested.

The original formulation of Fioricet included 50 milligrams (mg) of butalbital, 40 mg of caffeine, and 325 mg of acetaminophen.

A: The combination of butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine (Fioricet and other brands) is used to relieve symptoms of tension (or muscle contraction) headache. For more information, please consult with your healthcare provider and visit /drugs/fioricet. Michelle McDermott, PharmD.

In some cases, users of Fioricet have needed a liver transplant; in other cases, use of Fioricet has proven fatal. Fioricet carries a black-box warning cautioning users about the link of acetaminophen to acute liver failure.

Drinking while on Fioricet may increase the risk of liver damage from the acetaminophen. Ask your doctor about whether to avoid alcohol while taking Fioricet. The recommended dose:. The drug may enhance the intoxicating effects of alcohol.

If you are affected by confusion or extreme drowsiness or other worrisome symptoms, contact your doctor right away or go to the closest emergency room.

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