Compare Fioricet vs. Frova

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Fioricet
(butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)

Frova
(frovatriptan)

Treats tension headaches. Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) works well for tension headaches, but isn’t recommended due to the ability to overuse it and have withdrawal symptoms.Treats migraine headaches. Triptans are the first-choice to treat migraines. Frova (frovatriptan) works just as well as other triptans for migraines, but doesn't work for other types of headaches like cluster headaches.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.94Fioricet
Reviews for Fioricet
88%
of people (All ages) say Fioricet is worth it
76%
say it works well
12%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Frova (frovatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
FioricetFrova

We haven’t found good data for Fioricet side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Fioricet »
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Headache 1%
  • Tingling or prickling sensation 2%
  • Flushing 2%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Hot or cold sensation 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Chest pain 1%
More Frova side effects »
How it works
FioricetFrova
Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) is a combination of three medications. Butalbital is a barbiturate that relaxes you. Acetaminophen relieves pain, and caffeine narrows the blood vessels that otherwise cause headaches.Frova (frovatriptan) is a triptan. It prevents the opening of blood vessels in your brain, which causes migraines.
Type of medication
FioricetFrova
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
FioricetFrova
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
Used for
FioricetFrova
Risk factors for serious side effects
FioricetFrova
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other acetaminophen-containing medicines
  • History of liver disease
Detailed Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine) risks & warnings »
  • Heart disease
  • history of chest pain/angina
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • History of a stroke
  • Using Frova (frovatriptan) for more than 2 to 3 days a week or 10 days a month
Detailed Frova (frovatriptan) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Sleep
FioricetFrova
No sleep related info.
  • Frova (frovatriptan) can make you dizzy or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
Upsides and benefits
FioricetFrova
  • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) works better and faster in treating tension headaches than the combination of acetaminophen and codeine.
  • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) doesn’t cost much since it's available as a generic medication.
  • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) has very few side effects.
  • It has been widely used for a long time.
  • Frova (frovatriptan) is available in generic.
  • Unlike other similar medicines, you can take up to 3 tablets of Frova (frovatriptan) every 24 hours.
  • Frova (frovatriptan) is first choice of medicines for treatment of migraine headaches.
Downsides and risks
FioricetFrova
  • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) isn't the first choice medication for treating tension headaches.
  • It's not a good medication for long-term use.
  • Overuse of Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) can lead to chronic tension headaches.
  • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, intoxication, and dependence.
  • Taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) can decrease your ability to drive a car, or operate machinery.
  • Available as an oral tablet only, which may be difficult to swallow during bad migraine attack.
  • Doesn't prevent migraines.
  • Doesn't work for other types of headaches like cluster headaches.
  • Not recommended for children under 18 years old.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
FioricetFrova
  • Take Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) as soon as your headache starts, then lie down in a dark room to help ease the pain.
  • Be sure to take each dose with a full glass of water.
  • Take your time getting up from sitting or lying down while taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) to decrease your chances of feeling dizzy.
  • Be sure to limit how much caffeine and chocolate you take while on Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) since it can cause nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
  • While taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine), don’t drink alcohol or take other drugs that slow your body down.
  • Don't take other forms of acetaminophen (Tylenol) while taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine), since taking too much can lead to liver problems.
  • Doesn't prevent migraines.
  • Use as soon as you feel a migraine starting. You can take another dose 2 hours later, but don't take more than 3 tablets in 24 hours.
  • Don't use it excessively since it can cause you to have more headaches. Talk to your doctor if you are having more than 4 migraines in a month.
  • Frova (frovatriptan) can make you dizzy or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • Frova (frovatriptan) can cause nausea or tightness in the chest or throat. Talk to your doctor if it bothers you.
Learn more
More about FioricetSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about FrovaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Frova (frovatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it