It’s Fioricet and not Furocet—Fioricet is a pain-reliever (analgesic) drug that is primarily indicated for various pain concerns such as muscle contraction pain (headache), tension headaches, migraines, and other types of pain. This drug is a prescription only product and is possibly habit-forming due to one of its components.
Fioricet is actually made of acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine. Aspirin, on the other hand, is one of the drugs that have a slight negative interaction with Fioricet due to its caffeine content and hence should be avoided.
The butalbital aspect of Fioricet gives it an antidepressant action on the body’s central nervous system. Barbiturate drugs like butalbital relax the muscles, which helps with tension and muscle contraction-related headaches in the patients.
Acetaminophen, on the other hand, is an antipyretic and an analgesic drug, which helps relieve pain and also mitigate inflammation in the body. The caffeine component of the drug Fioricet serves as a central nervous system stimulant and is added in the drug to prevent butalbital’s sedative effect while augmenting the effect of acetaminophen in the patients.
Fioricet is a drug from the massive company Novartis and is manufactured in tablet and capsule form containing 50 mg butalbital USP, 325 mg acetaminophen USP, and 40 mg caffeine USP. Patients prescribed the drug are advised to take 1-2 tablets/capsules every 4 hours, but only as needed. The maximum dose of Fioricet is 6 tablets/capsules in a period of 24 hours. Patients may take the drug with food if it causes gastric upset.
Patients are advised to consult their doctors before using the drug due to the possible long-term adverse effects of the drug and also because of its potential for physical dependence/addiction in patients.
Before being administered with Fioricet, patients are checked if they have any form of liver disease, kidney disease, stomach bleeding or ulcers, mental illness or suicidal ideation in the past, or if they are taking any anti-clotting medication. This drug is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women due to the unknown harm and the possible withdrawal effect of the drug on the infants.
Apart from clotting medicines, these drugs are also checked before patients are administered with Fioricet:
Besides these, alcohol is also prohibited for patients taking Fioricet.
As for side effects, patients are warned against the following potential adverse effects due to Fioricet:
To ensure your safety while taking Fioricet, consult your doctor before using the drug.
Although the drug Fioricet is effective in treating severe migraine and muscle contraction-related headaches, it is not advisable for long-term use due to the possible hazards caused by its active ingredients. Fioricet can cause addiction or physical dependence and may also prompt liver disease or liver failure in patients.
Here are some of the alternatives to Fioricet patients can consider using:
Imitrex is available in various dosage forms (nasal spray, injection, or patch) and not only in oral form. These forms are often quick-acting and may be used concomitantly. This drug is safe to use by pregnant women and is available in generic form even at local drugstores, which makes it affordable.
However, some patients complain about the spray form of this drug having an aftertaste. Imitrex is not a preventive drug so it should only be used during the onset of migraines. Patients taking the drug are also made to wait another hour before taking another dose of the drug and using this too often can cause rebound headaches.
Topamax prevents seizures and migraines in patients, unlike Imitrex and Fioricet. Using this drug does not entail the patients to have their blood work-ups, unlike Imitrex. Patients can also choose between long-acting and short-acting variants of this drug. Because generic versions of Topamax are available, patients may also find this drug affordable.
Despite the migraine-preventive benefits of Topamax, this drug is often associated with several side effects, which requires the patients taking the drug to be monitored as soon as they begin treatment. Also, this drug has a delayed onset (4-6 weeks) for its full effect, which somewhat negates its preventive effect. Children using this drug may experience concentration and attention difficulties, confusion, fever, and flushing.
Zolmig is actually the first choice treatment when it comes to migraines. It is available in several forms including a nasal spray form, dissolvable pill form, and a regular pill form.
Patients prescribed with this drug, especially the nasal form, should follow the instructions on-point or they will not experience the full effect of the medicine. Some patients may not be suitable for taking the drug—patients with heart disease or have had experienced stroke may be prohibited to take the drug. Also, the nasal spray form of Zolmig is somewhat expensive, which limits other patients’ access to the drug.
Cafergot contains ergotamine and caffeine and is more effective in frequent, persistent migraines lasting more than two days.
This drug, however, may only be used in migraines and won’t work on other types of headaches. Nicotine-based products may also render this drug less effective.
Since generic alternatives to Fioricet are available at local pharmacies, most neighborhood drugstores are able to offer reasonable prices for the product:
If you’re residing in the United States, you can purchase 30 generic Fioricet tablets for as low as $19.55 depending on the available discounts at your local store. You can use online coupons to avail of this price; however, without the coupons, you may be looking at $20.09 to $40 for 30 tablets of the drug.
Fioricet is an effective drug for migraines and other muscle tension related pain. Ask your doctor before using this drug and if looking into purchasing this medication online, you can use our curated list of the Best Online Drugstores so you get the best prices for your Fioricet product.