People who suffer from tension headaches that don’t go away with over-the-counter medications like Tylenol may respond to butalbital. It’s part of the barbiturate drug class, which is a class of drugs that are normally prescribed to treat intense pain. While it produces relaxation and eases pain caused by severe symptoms like tension headaches, Butalbital’s side effects aren’t always pleasant.
A tension headache is a common type of headache disorder that occurs when the neck and scalp muscles tense up or contract. This causes severe pain that many sufferers describe as a rubber-band-around-the-head feeling or a sensation of pressure around the head. Tension headaches can be triggered by stress, hunger, lack of sleep, anxiety, and temperature changes.
Although most headaches go away with over-the-counter medications like Motrin (ibuprofen) or Tylenol (acetaminophen), tension headaches are a little more stubborn. For many people, this is where Fioricet comes in. Fioricet is the brand name for the drug combination butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine.
Butalbital is a sedative in the barbiturate drug class that may be prescribed to people with recurring tension headaches who don’t respond to other medications. Another version of Fioricet is Fiorinal, which contains butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine. Fioricet is designed for short-term care of tension headaches or other types of pain and shouldn’t be taken longer than prescribed.
Fioricet relaxes muscle contractions and causes sedation by enhancing the inhibitory effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces neuronal excitability and communication throughout the nervous system. This also means that barbiturates like Fioricet depress the central nervous system, which can produce sedation and drowsiness in addition to pain relief.
Additionally, it’s important to understand what butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine side effects are like when combined.
For this reason, it’s important to always take this medication as prescribed and avoid mixing it with other medications or substances like alcohol. A typical dose of Fioricet or Fiorinal is one to two tablets every four to six hours without exceeding six tablets daily. Butalbital is only designed for short-term use and should not be taken longer than two weeks unless directed by a doctor.
Fioricet side effects are the result of various drugs, such as acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine. Each of these substances produces different effects and are combined at specific doses (300 mg, 50 mg, and 40 mg, respectively) to create a combination medication that’s effective for pain treatment. However, because each of these ingredients produces side effects on its own, it’s important to take into consideration what their combined effects are if you’re thinking about taking Fioricet.
Common Fioricet side effects include:
In some cases, people develop allergic reactions to Fioricet, which is marked by symptoms like trouble breathing, itching, rashes, intense dizziness, and swelling in the face, tongue, and throat. If this reaction occurs after taking Fioricet, seek medical attention immediately.
It’s also important to keep in mind that, as a barbiturate and Schedule II drug, Fioricet is recognized as an addictive drug. This means that long-term side effects of Fioricet include dependence and addiction if the drug is taken for longer than prescribed or if it’s taken in higher doses than prescribed.
Many people abuse barbiturates because of the euphoric and sedative high they produce when abused or combined with alcohol and other depressants. It’s because of this that barbiturates were largely replaced by benzodiazepines, which have a weaker potential for addiction. With that said, it’s important to avoid taking Fioricet longer than prescribed and taking it in higher doses than prescribed.
Do not crush your pills and snort them or find other ways to administer the drug, as this could not only be addictive but also pose an overdose threat. If you realize that you’re no longer able to control your use of Fioricet despite the repercussions it’s had on your health, finances, career, or life, then it’s time to get help.
Our drug and alcohol treatment centers offer prescription drug addiction treatment programs to help people who are addicted to medications like Fioricet achieve sobriety. Regardless of how long you or a loved one has suffered from addiction, we’re here for you.