Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Pain

Fioricet 

(butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Pain
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Treats tension headaches.

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Our bottom line

Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) works well for tension headaches, but isn’t recommended due to the ability to overuse it and have withdrawal symptoms.

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Upsides

  • 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.
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Downsides

  • 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.
How it works

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.

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Side effect rates for Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)

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These are side effects of Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.
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Risks and Warnings for Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
    • Taking with other acetaminophen-containing medicines
    • History of liver disease

    Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) contains acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol or APAP. Taking too much acetaminophen causes liver damage that can be permanent and life-threatening. Using more than 3000 mg of the acetaminophen can cause serious harm to your liver, so be sure not to take more than the recommended dose of Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) or other medications that contain acetaminophen.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Just be careful and not drink alcohol or take other pain relievers at the same time.
Kidneys and liver
  • Wish I knew about liver disease. I have one kidney and my PCP hasn't done any regular blood tests , I hope my organs are okay ! I've taken 4-5 pills for the past 5 years without any issues. A real great painkiller for neck/headache pain.
Pain
  • Just be careful and not drink alcohol or take other pain relievers at the same time.