Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
What Is Fioricet?
Fioricet (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine capsule) is a combination of a barbiturate, a non-salicylate analgesic and antipyretic, and a central nervous system stimulant indicated for the relief of the symptom complex of tension (or muscle contraction) headache.
What Are Side Effects of Fioricet?
Common side effects of Fioricet include:
- dizziness, sedation
- shortness of breath
- abdominal pain, and
- intoxicated feeling
Dosage for Fioricet
The dose of Fioricet is one or two capsules every four hours. The total daily dosage of Fioricet should not exceed 6 capsules.
What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Fioricet?
Fioricet may interact with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, other narcotic analgesics, alcohol, general anesthetics, tranquilizers such as chlordiazepoxide, sedative-hypnotics, or other CNS depressants. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.
Fioricet During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
During pregnancy, Fioricet should be taken only if prescribed. It is unknown if it would affect a fetus. All the drugs in Fioricet pass into breast milk, and breastfeeding while taking Fioricet is not recommended. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Fioricet.
Our Fioricet (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine capsules) 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.
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.
Musculoskeletal: leg pain, muscle fatigue.
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 dos age are listed in the OVERDOSAGE section.
Drug Abuse And Dependence
Abuse And Dependee
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 and Acetaminophen Tablets)