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Fioricet Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Fioricet (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine) is a combination pain reliever and muscle relaxant used in the treatment of tension headache. Fioricet is available as a generic. The most common side effects of Fioricet are drowsiness, confusion or lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, feeling anxious or jittery, headache, and intoxicated or drunk feeling.
Fioricet is available in tablet form. Total dosage should not exceed 6 tablets. Butalbital is habit-forming. Consequently, the extended use of this product is not recommended. The CNS effects of butalbital may be enhanced by monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Fioricet may enhance the effects of other narcotic analgesics, alcohol, general anesthetics, and tranquilizers such as chlordiazepoxide, sedative-hypnotics, or other CNS depressants. This product should be given to pregnant women only when clearly needed. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug.
Our Fioricet Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Fioricet in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- 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.
Less serious side effects may include:
- dizziness, confusion or lightheadedness;
- dry mouth;
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
- feeling anxious or jittery;
- drunk feeling; or
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Fioricet (Butalbital, Acetaminophen and Caffeine)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Fioricet Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, dry mouth, shaking (tremor), shortness of breath, increased urination, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce your risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes, fainting, seizures, fast/irregular heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Fioricet (Butalbital, Acetaminophen and Caffeine)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Fioricet FDA Prescribing Information: 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.
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.
Caffeine: cardiac stimulation, irritability, tremor, dependence, nephrotoxicity, hyperglycemia.
DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE
Abuse and Dependence
Barbiturates may be habit-forming: Tolerance, psychological dependence, and physical dependence may occur especially following prolonged use of high doses of barbiturates. The average daily dose for the barbiturate addict is usually about 1500 mg. 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. As this occurs, the margin between an intoxication dosage and fatal dosage becomes smaller. The lethal dose of a barbiturate is far less if alcohol is also ingested. Major withdrawal symptoms (convulsions and delirium) may occur within 16 hours and last up to 5 days after abrupt cessation of these drugs. Intensity of withdrawal symptoms gradually declines over a period of approximately 15 days. Treatment of barbiturate dependence consists of cautious and gradual withdrawal of the drug. Barbiturate-dependent patients can be withdrawn by using a number of different withdrawal regimens. One method involves initiating treatment at the patient's regular dosage level and gradually decreasing the daily dosage as tolerated by the patient.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Fioricet (Butalbital, Acetaminophen and Caffeine)
Additional Fioricet Information
Fioricet - User Reviews
Fioricet User Reviews
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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