I have been taking Fioricet for 15 years as needed. But the last 7 months I have been taking about 4 a day. I started getting rebound headaches and wanted to quit. Well I got so sick I realized this was serious. I went down to 1am and 1pm and felt fine. This only took a week or 2. I now have dropped to 1 pill am only. I have been having a hard time. Day 1 went ok but day two is today and having more trouble. I also have to work 5 days a week. I am taking valium to help with the withdrawl. A month or so ago I finished a crossover taper from Restoril. I got off that. I was in the process of tapering my valium when I realized I had a problem with fioricet. I am taking more valium right now to get off this drug. Any and all advice needed. This taper is killing me. Staying on the 1 pill am and 1 pill pm I was stable. I hadn't realized how bad this would be. I have a 9 day vacation coming up in 2 weeks and hope to use that time to go off entirely. Anyone been through this? How did you handle it?
I'm not sure how to handle this. My prayers and thoughts go out to you. You sound like my wife, who has a problem with Fioricet. She is 44 and has been taking Fioricet most of her adult life. On average, she takes anywhere from 6-10 per day, depending on how much she has. I have noticed that anytime she has attempted to get off of it, her threshold has been around 5-6per day. That is when she starts feeling the withdrawals, anxiety, etc. She also takes Klonipin for anxiety, about 3, 1 mlgram per day.
When I threatened to leave her several years ago she went off Fioricet cold turkey. Her psych Rx'd a few things to help her during this time. He was worried about seizures. She started back on Fioricet when she went back to work part-time. She got stressed over going back to work part-time.
It has all but ruined her. My wife is a smart, educated women, who struggles daily with this, as well as depression and anxiety. She lies about all of it to her doctors and family members.
Fioricet has caffeine in it,you are most likely having caffeine with draws.. you will have to ween yourself off it.. The barbituate it contains is generally easier to get off of.. than the caffeine, I have never had a barbituate withdraw.. but I wont say it is impossible.. btw, if you take Valium for a long period of time, you will have a problem with THAT too,.. since your doctor prescribed it, he/she should be the one who can get you off of them. Midrin is what I take for vascular headaches, it does not contain caffiene in it, but the vascular constrictor in it, should do the job nicely and there will be fewer side effects coming off it.. Midrin can be taken for tension and vascular headaches. The Caffeine is acting as the vascular constrictor in the Fioricet, a lot of doctors do not like to prescribe it for a long period of time, since caffeine is addictive.. DO NOT go cold turkey off the meds w/o doctors permission.. it can be a dangerous shock to the system.. There are over the counter pain relievers that have caffeine in them, a smaller amount hence weening you off it, they tend to have the same amount of caffeine that a few cups of coffee have. Tell your doctor you are concerned about the drug and that you want something that does not contain anything addictive in it. You may also wish to discuss taking amitriptyline, 25-100mg, it can act as a long term pain reliever for headaches, especially chronic ones, it is not for everyone, If you doctor is hesitant, see a neurologist, if you are seeing one, see another one if you are not satisfied, maybe one who specializes in headaches.. they do exist.. There are better ways of what u are doing. Good Luck.
i take fioracet too. i have never hard withdrawls from it. i actually didnt think it was possible, so im glad to have this warning. my migraines only respond to fioracet and percocet (percocet being my problem drug)... and i also take topamax and atenolol daily, which helps A LOT. have u ever tried those meds instead so you dont have to take so much fioracet?
i have heard if u do take too much fioracet over a lot of time, you will get rebound headaches, and then u have to get through that... which totally sucks.
maybe ask your Dr. about the daily meds you could take... like what i mentioned above. they REALLY improved my life...
I was on Fiorinal with codeine for about 15 years. I was taking about 360 a month and then adding lortab. I thought that would help my migraines. I was doped every day, but didnt have a headache until they stopped writing the Fiorinal as they said i was taking too many. I went thru HELL. The rebound headaches led me to take more Lortab and anything else for pain I could find. It is the medication, not the caffeine. I ended up actually admitting myself into detox to get off all meds. My migraines were still horrible and turned into daily headaches at a level of about 7-8 each day. I was in bed for days at a time. Which led to my depression worsening. I was also taking topamax for prevention. Was not helping. I was sent by my primary to a Dr to talk about Suboxone as i was craving relief, and i knew I would go get something for pain somewhere if I didnt get it under control. I have been on Suboxone for 3 weeks. My craving is gone, as I have not had any pain since i started. I would wake up with pain in my head that I couldnt open my eyes. I am a new person now. I want to get up in the morning, I want to get things done around the house. Its horrible how pain effects you....
But know that the rebounds do get better. I agree that valium can also become an issue if you arent careful. good luck to you!!!
Hey, I have a little experience with this. I took fioricet for 19 years and withdrawl was horrible. Talk about 300-400 pills a week. Talk to your md. about suboxone. It can help for barbituate withdrawl, too. Not just for opiates. Stay on the 2 a day for at least 1 month. Taper off the valium. You do not need benzos.... Can make it worse. Good luck!!!
I agree with jonnstar. You may be tapering too rapidly. Going from two pills a day to one is fairly drastic. I would try cutting the pills, and maybe try going from 2, to 1-3/4, to 1-1/2, to 1, to 1/2. You have to wean off of Fioricet slowly as it can cause seizures. Do be careful.
I have been having problems with both Fioricet and Vicodin for the last few years, and the reason I haven't been able to get off is the rebound headaches. They are EXCRUCIATING. Rebound headaches suck WAY worse than withdrawals do. My neurologist did not warn me about this, and man, it has been bad. My primary care suggested a 6-day course of steroids (Prednisone), which has been known to break the rebound cycle. I tried it, and it worked! So if rebound is a problem for you, you might want to talk to your doctor about that. The Pred came in a blister pack with 6 pills the first day, 5 the second day, and so on, down to zero. If not for that I never would have been able to taper off Vicodin, so just throwing that out there for anyone else who is having rebound.
Also, if you have an urgent care facility near you, you can go in and ask for a shot of Toradol, a non-narcotic pain reliever. Some primary care physicians also have injectable Toradol. It's a shot in the butt, burns a little, but relief in about 20 minutes and you can drive yourself home. I had to do that a few times to help with the rebound pain, and again, it's very effective, safe, and not addicting. Just another idea. I've been through rebound hell, and have become a bit of a guinea pig in the process, but have learned of some very effective ways to combat it.
Back to the Fioricet, all of the advice here is really good. Do NOT rush it. The caffeine can cause headaches, yes, but the dangerous part of the drug is the Butalbital. It's a barbiturate. Going cold turkey can be dangerous. Take it slow. Best of luck to you.
I agree with mvingforward; do not cut down too rapidly. The tylenol in the fioricet is 325mg per pill and if you suddenly take that away, you will have seizures. I had some awful ones and no one understood why. Of course, they did not know about the fioricet. Also, once I got thru the first month, I made myself stop isolating from the world. You need people to help you and someone to talk to about your addiction. Go to an AA meeting or a NA mtg.
People there understand!!!! I could not beat my desire to continue to use, until I followed my psychiatrist's advice and went to a meeting. Okay, no more preaching......Be careful and I like the idea of trying the prednisone or suboxone to help you. TALK to your doctor! There are ones who really want to help! Nurses, too. Good luck. I know you can do it!
Prednisone will help to break the cycle of rebound headaches, but won't do anything for the addiction. For that, you'll have to taper, but it does sound like you're almost there. Take it slow and hang in there.
gosh this thread is fascinating. i have had migraines my whole life, but this past month i have had them every day. im percocet free but have been taking fioracet for maybe for 2 weeks almost every ... 2-6 pills a day. i wonder if that is causing my headaches? ugh. i knew if could cause a rebound, but i thought i'd have to use a higher dose, and for longer for that to happen. thoughts?
im going to a new doctor Friday (just a general doctor as i just moved and dont have a neurologist yet) and am curious about your true thoughts on my fioracet amounts and the rebounds, as i may be asking for a small pain script as i need to have something at home that i know works. in this pain. with 27 days under my belt, i think i may be able to handle this choice. the way i feel now, it's worth the shot. sorry to make this about me... i dont know if i should start a new thread or if this is considered on topic....
thanks for listening
hey, don't worry, of course this is about you! 27 days is awesome... I think
the migraines are coming from 2 things; your body craving the opiate that was in the percocet and the fioricet itself. When you go to the doctor, try asking for midrin as it is a vasodilator and can help with the migraines,. Taper off the fioricet;6,4,2,1,etc... Also, it helped me to get on topamax to prevent my migraines from even occurring. Just remember, tell the doctor everything that you are taking or do not want to take. If you don't feel comfortable with him/her, then go elsewhere. Just don't give up!!! It does get better. I took fioricet for 19 years and i have been off almost 3 years now... There are better meds to try. But it does take some work and i am proud of you for beginning on that journey..... let me know how it goes!
thanks! it feels good to be clear headed when i wake up and have energy. what a concept!
unfortunately midrin doesnt work for me... none of those vasoconstrictors do... it sux. but i do take topamax (100 mg) and atenolol (50 mgs) a day to help with the headaches... and usually that is pretty successful.
i saw my doctor today (they moved up my appt). I got a small script (30 pills) of percocet... I usually get 150 a month from my old doctor, but obviously those days are done, which is fine. 150 is too many! when i look back and think about it, 150 pills a month? that sure is a lot! of course, at the time, it was never enough.
anyhow - i did take a few earlier for my headache and it took it away. after having migraines for a month, i'm so happy not to be in pain this evening. but, i wont take any more percs tonight. back in the day i'd blow through like 8 or 10, no matter the hour. so none of that will be going on. plus, i have so few i really need to keep them for my emergencies. im kind of afraid of them, which is a good thing, so i think that i'll be ok with this script.
as for the fioracet, i didnt take any today and im laying off them for a bit. i dont think i need a taper. of course, if i end up feeling not well, i'll do a taper, but really i just want them gone. if they are givingme headaches. they need to be out of my system right away.
thanks for your advice and kind words! good luck on your continued journey as well!!
Hey, I'm glad you are feeling better. I think it's a good thing that you are "kind of afraid of them". Just keep a clear goal in mind and i think you will do well. Sorry the midrin doesn't work.I'm sure that it feels good not to be in pain anymore.Sometimes i think better when i get a clearer perspective on things-no more fioricet and my head becomes open to getting clean. Wish you well-you will do great because you WANT IT!!!!
talk to you later? bye
Hey all, couple things everyone should know about this drug, and migraines. First off barbiturate withdrawal, you have to be careful, it can be very dangerous for some people. If taken long enough and in high enough quantities it can cause certain people detoxing from it to actually suffer from seizures(Similar to alcohol DT's). Its not common but its something to be watchful of. That could also be part of the reason for the Valium, as a prophylaxis, keeping that sort of scenario from happening. Just informing everyone so they know the risk, and hopefully wont take a chance of this happening(and possibly dying), and will get some help with the detox. Its crazy, but in certain ways barbiturates and alcohol are actually some of the worst drugs on the human body.
For those suffering from migraines and chronic headaches, while it is true that caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, that is not something that occurs to every person, some people have no ill affect at all stopping caffeine. Reason I mention this is that a lot of people may cut out caffeine all together thinking they are helping themselves, and it ends up the exact opposite is true. The reason caffeine is included is that it can actually make medication even just aspirin actually work better.(If I'm remembering correctly certain medication are up to 40% more effective with caffeine). The other part of this is that besides making medication more effective, It also helps in the absorption, speeding how quickly medication can get into the body. So its not all bad with caffeine, which is something to keep in mind.
Caffeine is one of those strange things that can cause headaches and relieve headaches, and it all is dependent on the person....
Just some FYI everyone. There are certain "Migraine" versions of analgesics, like Exedrin, that will cost you more for that version of medication then the regular version, when the truth is that if you actually look there is absolutely no reason for it, because the ingredients, and amount of the ingredients are exactly the same between the two medications. Its just a thieving marketing ploy to get people to spend more money on the same thing. Used to work at a pharmaceutical co. so I found out about a lot of this sneaky stuff.
Hey, great info from Jayday. Caffeine is the ingredient in fioricet, along with butalbital which is a barbituate and tylenol which is acetominaphen. Take too much and you will cause seizures. I used to have them all the time from not keeping enough fioricet in my body EVERY DAY!!!! The doc never know what was causing them, until I told him about the fioricet. Duh! Anyway, slow withdrawl is the key and adding ativan or valium to it can help with the bad effects of coming off the fioricet. Also, do not stop caffeine all at once either. It can make you have migraines or just wish you could crawl in a hole and die...... So, good news all around; there is help to detox and you CAN DO IT!! Good luck......