Discussions that mention fioricet

Pain Management board

Quote from marksta:
I called the doc this morning and told him my story and they called me in Fioranal.I took one and now my headache is gone!Thank goodness!I guess it just took the right med for my system.This is the first time I haven't had a headach in ages!

I just posted on this site on another question that I was a lurker on the PM site because I was looking for a med for migrains. I had been taking fioricet(fioranal but with tylonal) since the mid 80's and it works so well. I stopped taking it when we moved to a different state because most doctors here do not like to RX it.
Good luck
Hi Beverly,

Sorry that you are having problems with headaches. It sounds like you have been taking a low dose of pain meds. for a while and taking them daily. I'm in Canada and know nothing about Lortab but as dogmom said, the caffeine could definatly explain things.

I don't know how many different meds. you have tried for your headaches, how long you have had them or anything else. Do you want to reply with that?

You can run into big problems taking the meds. you have been taking like you have been taking them. Low dose pain meds. taken daily that are not dealing with the pain is not the way to go. If you haven't read up on rebound headaches or MIH, you really should do so or ask. What happens to h/a patients (and surprisingly enough it does not happen that often to other pain patients) when they take pain meds. on a daily basis is that the medication can be triggering the headache and giving you a h/a when the meds. in the body run down. They used to think that a huge percentage of us had rebounds h/a or MIH but they have adjusted that figure down quite a bit. Unfortunately, almost all h/a specialists will want their patients with a history like yours, to stop taking all analgesic medications for a period of 12 - 20 weeks (depending on the Dr.) to see if your meds. are causing your h/a. If they are, that is great and you will have to endure 2-3 weeks of bad h/a's but after that you are almost free. If not, it is a hard time but once it has been done you can move to checking for other things. There are so many meds., both preventatvie and rescue and other treatments that hopefully you won't need to take narcotics or barbituates to deal with them.

The thing I wanted to stress most is about the Fiorinal. It is one of the worst medications out there. The main indgredient is butalbital which is a barbituate. They are very addicting medications and the problems associated with this med. are enormous. If ou go to the addictions board and type in Fiorinal I'm sure you will hit many posts.

In Canada, the Canadian medical association came out a couple years ago with instructions to our Dr.'s to NOT prescribe thismedication to any new patients and to do everything that they can to get existing patients off of this medication.

People think it is a miracle drug and not only helps with their headache but gives them energy and pep and makes it so much easier to talk to people about anything and everything. Very easy to fall into the trap and take it daily (I don't understand why there are still so many Dr.'s in the U.S. Rx'ing this med..) and once you are addicted or dependant on it, it is as hard and as dangerous, or more so, than benzo's to stop taking. Going cold turkey can be fatal.

In my province Dr.'s have duplicate Rx's they have to use for strong medications like morphine and Fiorinal is on that list and must be on a special Rx.. I think in the U.S. Dr.'s can still call it in over the phone (but may be wrong!!)?

There are some people out there that have been taking it for decades (it was THE first and only medication that my Dr. R'xd for me when I started getting migraines when I was 16 years old................back in 1976). They may take it a couple times a month for bad headaches and for them, I'd hate to see them have a problem getting it Rx'd as they use it properly and have for a long time. But I sure don't think it is something that should be considered for new patients.

It comes under a few names - Fiorinal (with aspirin) and Fioricet (acet.), Esgic and a few others. It also comes like tylenol does with 8mgs., 16mgs., or 32 mgs., of codeine in it and some have caffeine and some don't.

Sorry to sound harsh but it is the one med. that I know has caused many problems for people that I know (luckily I didn't have any problems with it) and I'd urge you to do some research on it.

Quote from Chaswick:
Sorry, forgot to mention that the way many of us have the most success fighting these awful headaches is that once we recognize that we have one coming on (I get a little electric jolt under and above my left eye about 10-20 mins. before mine hit) we hit it early and hit it hard.

Cutting it off at the past so that it never takes hold works best. If it does take hold for me, they can last for days and days.

Good luck!!//Chaz

You are right on about that but the newer meds like Imitrex and all that is in that family I cannot take due to some minor heart related problems. I have been having migrains since I was 8(I have been dealing with this for 50 years) and have had many MRI's all looks good.I was afraid to get off of fioricet because of all i read on how hard it was to get off of.One day i went to my Doc who was giving me scripts though he would lecture me each time he gave me a script and told him i didn't want them anymore and I just stopped. No WD. So for now I am taking many tylonal during the day until I can find a new med. BTW Doctors here can call in Fioricet and also put refills on it. I don't thing they can do that with the Fioricet w codine but I never tried that since codiene makes me sick.
Yes refills.We lived in Ca for 29 years and in the 80's my GP gave me Fioricet. He told me to take them 4 x a day so they also acted as a preventitive and he would give me 11 refills of 120 pills a month . That would last for a year.We moved here two years ago and my GP here would give me 3 refills with a lecture. That is when I thought I would just stop but after reading some boards on WD I thought I to would have WD also until someone posted saying they were taking over 10 a day. I was only taking 4 a few times maybe 5 so I just stopped. Now I just have to find the right med. I also take neuronton and Elival for RSD so I take an exra neuronton if the pain gets to bad and pepto if I get an upset stomach with the migraine. I will google the drugs that you mentioned and see if they might work. Something has to help.
Quote from Chaswick:
Hi Markstra,

I was never taking Fiorinal daily. They were the first things Rx for me in the mid 70's but I only ever took them max. once or twice a week. I've never heard of them being Rx'd as a preventative before though and can't imagine what a Dr. would be thinking doing something like that!! Lorie, thank goodness you didn't develop problems with them because having them Rx'd like that it would be pretty easy to do!!
11 refills!!

Actually the first time I even knew that they were a 'bad' drug was when a good friend of mine - who was an undercover narcotics officer withthe RCMP saw my Rx bottle withthem and asked me about them. This was in the late 70's early 80's and he told me how much they were worth on the street then!! I could have been rich!!

I'm in Canada Mark so those tests don't cost anything for me - thank goodness. I do understand what you mean. Being in the middle class seems to be the worst place to be now days. You pay for everything, qualify for nothing, and have very little say in anything! And it is getting worse!!


It is my understanding that fioricet was a new drug in the mid 80's chaz.I have tension Migrains that have to be stopped before they start as my doctor knew so 4 a day was how I was to take it and they worked no buzz.When I stopped the only thing I craved was more coffee the caffine that my body was use two. As far as your Cop friend street value for fioricet / cod could be worth money but without the codein I doubt it.
Hi Lori,

You might be right. I don't know for a fact that they had Fioricet in California until the 1980's.

I do know that I was Rx'd Fiorinal in Canada in 1975/76 (which is the same thing except there is aspirin instead of acet.) - no question about that.

I won't disrespect you and say that I doubt what *you* say, but Fioricet has butalbital in it. Butalbital is a barbituate and barbituates are very addicting. Dr.'s who don't hesitate to Rx Tylenol #3, would never Rx Fiorinal in Canada. My *cop friend* was not mistaken. Plain Fioricet or Fiorinal fetches much higher prices on the street than tylenol with codeine does. C 1/2 fetches more but not that much more.

I'm glad that you didn't have a problem withdrawing from butalbital. Most people that would take the dose you took for that long would have a big problem. The addiction board here and at other sites is full of horror stories about the medication.

If you want to tell people that Fioricet is a good preventative medication to take for migraines or tension headaches you can certainly do that.

I think that is a dangerous message to put out there. That is based on talking to the specialists I have and reading everything I can about migraines and other forms of headaches and treatment.

I won't disrespect you and say that I doubt what *you* say, but Fioricet has butalbital in it. Butalbital is a barbituate and barbituates are very addicting. Dr.'s who don't hesitate to Rx Tylenol #3, would never Rx Fiorinal in Canada. My *cop friend* was not mistaken. Plain Fioricet or Fiorinal fetches much higher prices on the street than tylenol with codeine does. C 1/2 fetches more but not that much more.

Chaz I think you missunderstood about the codeine. Fioricet and Fiorinal both can also have codeine in it. It is either Fioricet/cod or fiorinal/Cod That is a much stronger drug that shouldn't be used. Yes for some people bubitol (sp) can be addictive and also there is a danger of seizures if you stop the bubetol since that is also used to stop seizures. That was my main concern but I was told by my Doc that due a taper if you want 3,3,2,2,1,1,.So he assured me that in my case it was OK to stop.I do hear what you are saying and I agree but for me and for some others fioricet should not be ruled out. I ruled it out myself because I didn't feel comfortable asking this doc for any more. You know?
Hi Lori,

I understand exactly what you have been saying, maybe I haven't been clear.

I understand that there is Fioricet that has butalbital, acet. and caffeine in it. There is also Fioricet C1/2 which has the above plus 30mg. of codeine.

I am only talking about the plain Fioricet or Fiorinal and everything I've said I mean to say about plain old Fioricet. I could print hundreds of examples of people who were Rx'd it for use not more than 2 days a week and ended up taking 3, 8, 10, 18 capsules a day and running into major problems in their lives. Any site, except the ones that try to sell it, have warnings now. The most benign one that I could find I've copied below;

Fiorinal and Fioricet are medicines for tension-type headaches. Fiorinal contains aspirin and Fioricet contains acetaminophen. They both contain butalbital and caffeine. Codeine is sometimes also added to this combination. Butalbital, a barbiturate sedative, is habit-forming.

These medications should not be used on a daily basis because dependency on them can develop. Regular use, more than 2 days per week, can cause rebound headache, which may not respond to usually effective acute and preventive treatments.

© Copyright 2005, National Headache Foundation | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Besides the Canadian Med. Assoc. discouraging their Dr.'s from Rx'ing this med. there are some countries in Europe that have banned this medication because of the problems associated with it.

I have never seen any recc. that this med. be taken on a daily basis, never mind 4 or more pills a day for years on end. If you say you took it that long and that much and had no problems I take you at your word. I've had too many people I've spoken to in groups that have had really serious problems with plain old Fioricet to not speak up about this medication when I see it being talked about.