Maxalt vs. Fioricet

Are Maxalt and Fioricet the Same Thing?

Maxalt (rizatriptan) and Fioricet (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine capsule) are used to treat different types of headaches.

Maxalt is used to treat the pain of migraine headache. Maxalt will only treat a headache that has already begun. Maxalt will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

Fioricet is used for the relief of the symptom complex of tension (or muscle contraction) headache.

Maxalt is a selective 5-hydroxytryptamine 1B/1D (5-HT1B/1D) receptor agonist (a "triptan") and Fioricet is a combination of a barbiturate, a non-salicylate analgesic and antipyretic, and a central nervous system stimulant.

Side effects of Maxalt and Fioricet that are similar include nausea, dizziness, or drowsiness.

Side effects of Maxalt that are different from Fioricet include mild headache (not a migraine), dry mouth; feeling of pain or tightness in the jaw, neck, or throat; pressure or heavy feeling in any part of your body, tired feeling, weakness, feelings of tingling/numbness/prickling/heat, or flushing (warmth, redness, or tingling feeling under your skin).

Side effects of Fioricet that are different from Maxalt include lightheadedness, sedation, shortness of breath, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling.

Both Maxalt and Fioricet may interact with narcotics.

Maxalt may also interact with other migraine headache medicines, propranolol, antidepressants, medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, or medicines to prevent nausea and vomiting.

Fioricet may also interact with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, alcohol, general anesthetics, tranquilizers, sedative-hypnotics, or other CNS depressants.

Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Fioricet.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Maxalt?

Common side effects of Maxalt include:

  • mild headache (not a migraine),
  • dry mouth,
  • nausea;
  • feeling of pain or tightness in the jaw, neck, or throat;
  • pressure or heavy feeling in any part of your body,
  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness,
  • tired feeling,
  • weakness,
  • feelings of tingling/numbness/prickling/heat, or
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingling feeling under your skin).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Fioricet?

Common side effects of Fioricet include:

  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness, sedation
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain, and
  • intoxicated feeling

What Is Maxalt?

Maxalt (rizatriptan) tablets is a selective 5-hydroxytryptamine1B/1D (5-HT1B/1D) receptor agonist used to treat the pain of migraine headache. Maxalt is believed to work by narrowing the blood vessels around the brain and by decreasing levels of substances involved in the development of migraine pain. Maxalt will only treat a headache that has already begun. Maxalt will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

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.

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What Drugs Interact With Maxalt?

Maxalt may interact with other migraine headache medicines, propranolol, or antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking rizatriptan, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is also not known whether rizatriptan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What Drugs 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.

How Should Maxalt Be Taken?

The adult dose of Fioricet is 1 mg or 2.5 mg tablets taken with fluid. The dose may be repeated once after 4 hours, for a maximum dose of 5 mg in a 24-hour period.

How Should Fioricet Be Taken?

The dose of Fioricet is one or two capsules every four hours. The total daily dosage of Fioricet should not exceed 6 capsules.

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References

DailyMed. Mobic Product Information.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=676e73fb-51d2-449a-8749-1a7bcc257b11
FDA. Fioricet Prescribing Information.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/020232s041lbl.pdf

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