Compare Fioricet vs. Zomig

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

Fioricet
(butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)

Zomig
(zolmitriptan)

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 migraines. Triptans are the first-choice to treat migraines. Zomig (zolmitriptan) works just as well as other triptans for migraines.
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Coupons for Fioricet
Best available price for 30 (50mg/300mg/40mg) capsules of fioricet
Coupons for Zomig
Best available price for 3 (3 tablets of 5mg) dose packs of zomig
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)?
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Have you used Zomig (zolmitriptan)?
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Side effects
FioricetZomig

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

FDA side effect reports for Fioricet »
  • Nervous system problems 7%
  • Stomach problems 8%
  • Pain and pressure sensation 7%
  • Unusual sensations 6%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Tingling or prickling sensation 5%
  • Neck, throat or jaw pain/pressure 4%
  • Sleepiness 3%
  • Warm or cold sensation 1%
More Zomig side effects »
How it works
FioricetZomig
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.Zomig (zolmitriptan) is a triptan. It prevents the enlargement of blood vessels in your brain, which causes migraines.
Type of medication
FioricetZomig
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
FioricetZomig
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Nasal spray
Used for
FioricetZomig
Risk factors for serious side effects
FioricetZomig
  • 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 Zomig (zolmitriptan) or other migraine treatment medications for 10 or more days a month
Detailed Zomig (zolmitriptan) 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.

Upsides and benefits
FioricetZomig
  • 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.
  • Zomig (zolmitriptan) is is a first choice treatment to treat severe migraines.
  • There are different forms of Zomig (zolmitriptan) available, including a dissolving pill and a nasal spray if you have trouble swallowing during a migraine attack.
  • The regular and dissolving pill forms of Zomig (zolmitriptan) are available as generics.
Downsides and risks
FioricetZomig
  • 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.
  • If you're taking the nasal spray form of Zomig (zolmitriptan), you have to follow the instructions exactly or you won't get the full dose of medicine.
  • The nasal spray form of Zomig (zolmitriptan) is only available as brand name, so it can be expensive.
  • If you have heart disease or history of stroke, Zomig (zolmitriptan) may not be the best choice for you. Talk to your doctor about your medical history.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
FioricetZomig
  • 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 10 mg total 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.
Learn more
More about FioricetSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)?
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More about ZomigSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zomig (zolmitriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it