Fioricet Side Effects
Frequently Observed Fioricet Side EffectsThe most frequently reported adverse reactions are drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling.
Is Fioricet Addictive?
Although it’s only a prescription headache medication, Fioricet has the potential to cause addiction. If a person follows their prescription guidelines and uses the medication correctly, the risks of addiction are low. However, if someone takes too much Fioricet, they may develop tolerance to its effects. A person with tolerance to a certain dose of Fioricet will require higher doses of the medication to alleviate their headaches.
When a person with tolerance starts to take more Fioricet, possibly by obtaining more prescriptions, they may eventually become dependent on it. In other words, they may feel unable to get through the day without taking Fioricet, and if they stop, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms arise because their body has grown accustomed to Fioricet in high doses.
If a Fioricet-dependent person attempts to weather withdrawal alone, it’s likely they will take Fioricet again just to relieve the symptoms. This is a hallmark characteristic of addiction. Anyone who compulsively abuses Fioricet to avoid withdrawal likely has an addiction to Fioricet. Additionally, people with an addiction to Fioricet will experience cravings for the medication which further compel them to keeping using it.
Moreover, the ingredient butalbital is an addictive substance in its own right. Butalbital can cause someone to “get high” because it’s a central nervous system depressant. Since butalbital is part of Fioricet, it is possible for someone to abuse Fioricet as a recreational drug. At high doses, Fioricet can intoxicate a person in a manner similar to alcohol. People who abuse Fioricet for this purpose have as much of a risk of developing an addiction as they would have if they repeatedly use an illegal drug.
The Symptoms of Withdrawal
In most cases, Fioricet withdrawal lasts anywhere from 8 hours to three days after the last dose. Withdrawal is the biggest obstacle to overcoming dependence on Fioricet, which is why rehab centers provide detox programs so that people can safely undergo the withdrawal cycle without the risk of relapse. It is best to undergo withdrawal under medical supervision because some withdrawal symptoms are dangerous.
Rebound headaches are the most common symptoms of Fioricet withdrawal. Other symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Muscle spasms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid emotional changes
- Seizures (in rare cases)
Infrequently Observed Fioricet Side Effects
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. Cardiovascular: tachycardia. Musculoskeletal: leg pain, muscle fatigue. Genitourinary: diuresis.
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. Fioricet contains a combination of acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer.
Butalbital is in a group of drugs called barbiturates. It relaxes muscle contractions involved in a tension headache. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels to improve blood flow. Fioricet (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine) is a combination pain reliever and muscle relaxant used in the treatment of tension headache and migraine, even any kinds of headache. It is available as a generic prescription.
Generic Fioricet is much cheaper than Brand Fioricet but they almost have the same effects and same side effects. The most frequently reported adverse reactions or side effects of fioricet are: drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling.
|Irritation of the Stomach or Intestines||Less Severe|
|Incomplete or Infrequent Bowel Movements||Less Severe|
|Feeling Faint||Less Severe|
|Sensation of Spinning or Whirling||Less Severe|
|Chronic Trouble Sleeping||Less Severe|
|Head Pain||Less Severe|
|Feel Like Throwing Up||Less Severe|
|Throwing Up||Less Severe|
|Easily Angered or Annoyed||Less Severe|
|Discolored Spots and Small Elevations of the Skin||Severe|
|Acute Pustular Eruptions on Skin||Severe|
|Feeling of Throat Tightness||Severe|
|Acute Liver Failure||Severe|
|Hepatitis caused by Drugs||Severe|
|Inflammation of Skin caused by an Allergy||Severe|
|Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis||Severe|
|Skin Rash with Sloughing||Severe|
|Decreased Calcification or Density of Bone||Severe|
|Loss of Memory||Severe|
|Life Threatening Allergic Reaction||Severe|
|Reaction due to an Allergy||Severe|
|Decreased Blood Platelets||Severe|
|Deficiency of Granulocytes a Type of White Blood Cell||Severe|
|Decreased White Blood Cells||Severe|
|Decreased Neutrophils a Type of White Blood Cell||Severe|
|Taking Habit Forming Drugs||Less Severe|
|Feeling Restless||Less Severe|
|Blind Spot in the Eye||Less Severe|
|Perform Complex Natural behaviors while Asleep||Less Severe|
|Increased Feeling of the Skin||Less Severe|
|Ringing in the Ears||Less Severe|
|Involuntary Quivering||Less Severe|
|Fast Heartbeat||Less Severe|
- fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
- feeling light-headed or short of breath;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms.
- dizziness, confusion or lightheadedness;
- dry mouth;
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
- feeling anxious or jittery;
- drunk feeling; or
As with many medications, when taken over a long period of time or in high doses, the body can come to depend on the drug to function normally. Misusing Fioricet can result in dependence and addiction and can pose serious risks to health. Signs of a Fioricet addiction can include drug-seeking behavior, doctor-shopping or pretending to lose Fioricet prescriptions to get access to more.
Fioricet has addictive qualities, and it’s important to watch for signs of addiction when using this medication. If you are misusing or addicted to Fioricet, getting off the drug is the first step of recovery. There are different types of treatments available that can address Fioricet addiction. Treatment can also include therapy and skill building, which can address the underlying reasons for abusing Fioricet.
Before taking FioricetDo 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.
What are the Symptoms of a Fioricet Overdose?
While butalbital is the addictive ingredient in Fioricet, acetaminophen is the ingredient which is liable to cause an overdose. Unfortunately, people who misuse Fioricet as a recreational drug or as a way to suppress withdrawal are most likely to suffer an overdose.
When a person overdoses on Fioricet, the acetaminophen will damage their liver. In severe cases, an overdose can even provoke fatal liver failure. For this reason, it is dangerous to take Fioricet together with another medication which contains acetaminophen because it increases the risk of overdose and death. Furthermore, drinking alcohol while taking Fioricet may also inflict liver damage.
A Fioricet overdose is a medical emergency, so it’s important to know the symptoms. An overdose on Fioricet and all other forms of liver failure cause jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and eyes. Other symptoms of an overdose include:
- Convulsions and seizures
- Irregular heartbeat
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain