Butalbital belongs to the group of medicines called barbiturates. Barbiturates act in the central nervous system (CNS) to produce their effects.
Acetaminophen is used to relieve pain and reduce fever in patients. It does not become habit-forming when taken for a long time. But acetaminophen may cause other unwanted effects when taken in large doses, including liver damage.
When butalbital is used for a long time, it may become habit-forming, causing mental or physical dependence. However, people who have continuing pain should not let the fear of dependence keep them from using narcotics to relieve their pain. Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal side effects if treatment is stopped suddenly. However, severe withdrawal side effects can usually be prevented by gradually reducing the dose over a period of time before treatment is stopped completely.
Caffeine is a CNS stimulant that is used with pain relievers to increase their effect. It has also been used for migraine headaches. However, caffeine can also cause physical dependence when it is used for a long time. This may lead to withdrawal (rebound) headaches when you stop taking it.
This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
This product is available in the following dosage forms:
What should you know before you take Fioricet ?
Before taking Fioricet, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to acetaminophen, caffeine, or butalbital; or to other barbiturates (such as phenobarbital) or xanthine derivatives (such as theophylline); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: severe breathing problems (such as bronchopneumonia), a certain enzyme disorder (porphyria), liver disease, kidney disease, personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol), mental/mood disorders, abdominal/stomach problems (such as stomach ulcer).
Do 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;
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.
It is not known whether Fioricet will harm an unborn baby. If you use butalbital while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Liquid products may contain alcohol, sugar and/or aspartame. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, liver disease, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
Before having surgery or certain medical procedures (such as a heart stress test or a procedure to restore a normal heart rhythm if you have an unusually fast heartbeat), tell your doctor or dentist that you use this medication and about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness and trouble falling asleep. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Using it for long periods or in high doses near the expected delivery date is not recommended because of possible harm to the unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have used this medication for an extended time may have withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, abnormal/persistent crying, vomiting, seizures, or diarrhea. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn.
This drug passes into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine combination in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine combination in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine combination.
Information about this butalbital-acetaminophen-and-caffeine-oral-route
Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Fioricet Drug Interactions
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Other Prescription Interactions
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Alcohol abuse, history of or
Drug dependence, or history of or
Weakened physical condition—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
Kidney disease or
Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Porphyria (an enzyme problem)—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
Stomach problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
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.
This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.
While you are taking this medication, avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor’s advice.