Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Fioricet

(Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine)

  • Pill
  • Oral solution
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Treats tension headaches.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

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.

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.

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.

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What to expect when you take Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • 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.
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Side effects 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

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
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  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • While taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine), don’t drink alcohol or take other drugs that slow your body down.
  • Just be careful and not drink alcohol or take other pain relievers at the same time.