Fioricet is a combination medication that is used to treat complex tension headaches when other medications have not been effective.
The combination of drugs sold under the brand name Fioricet can help to manage the severe pain and disability that comes with tension headaches.
While Fioricet can be an effective and life-changing medication for people suffering from tension headaches, there is also the risk of Fioricet abuse or addiction. It’s important to consider the possible side effects and risks of using Fioricet to determine if this drug is right for you.
What is Fioricet?
People who suffer from tension headaches may receive a prescription of Fioricet. Fioricet includes three different drug ingredients that can help manage different symptoms of tension headaches. These include:
- Butalbital: A type of barbiturate that can help muscle relaxation.
- Acetaminophen: Also called paracetamol (sold as Tylenol) and helps to relieve pain.
- Caffeine: Enhances the effects of acetaminophen.
The ingredients of Fioricet help to address pain specifically or can help to enhance the effects of the painkillers. Some types of Fioricet include codeine, which is an opiate used to treat pain. This can increase the effect of Fioricet, but also increase some of the risks for misuse or addiction.
Is Fioricet a Controlled Substance?
Fioricet is a controlled substance, which means that it requires a prescription and cannot be purchased over the counter. Fioricet can only be prescribed a certain number of times following a Fioricet prescription schedule. This is to avoid abuse or dependence and to reduce the risk of addiction.
Common and Rare Fioricet Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
shortness of breath
Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach pain
black, tarry stools
blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
blood in the urine or stools
change in the frequency of urination or amount of urine
difficulty with breathing
difficulty with swallowing
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
flushed or dry skin
fruit-like breath odor
hives, itching, or skin rash
joint or muscle pain
loss of appetite
nausea or vomiting
pinpoint red spots on the skin
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, irritated eyes
shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
swelling of the feet or lower legs
tightness in the chest
trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
unexplained weight loss
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
Confusion as to time, place, or person
difficult or painful urination
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
general feeling of discomfort or illness
holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
loss of appetite
pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
sudden decrease in the amount of urine
unpleasant breath odor
unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
vomiting of blood
yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Relaxed and calm
Incidence not known
continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
false or unusual sense of well-being
pain in the leg
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.