Generic Name: acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine (a SEET a MIN oh fen, bue TAL bi tal, and KAF een)
Brand Names: Alagesic, Anolor 300, Dolgic LQ, Dolgic Plus, Esgic, Esgic-Plus, Fioricet, Geone, Margesic, Medigesic, Repan, Zebutal
What is Fioricet?
Fioricet contains a combination of acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer.
Butalbital is in a group of drugs called barbiturates. It relaxes muscle contractions involved in a tension headache. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels to improve blood flow.
Fioricet is used to treat tension headaches that are caused by muscle contractions.
Fioricet may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Fioricet
Do not use Fioricet if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis) or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day. You may not be able to take medicine that contains acetaminophen. Do not take more Fioricet than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while taking Fioricet due to the acetaminophen component.
Before taking Fioricet
Do not use Fioricet if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects. Tell your doctor if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis) or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day. You may not be able to take medicine that contains acetaminophen. You should not take Fioricet if you are allergic to acetaminophen, butalbital, or caffeine, or if you have porphyria.
To make sure you can safely take Fioricet, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
liver disease; or
a history of mental illness or suicidal thoughts.
Butalbital may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share Fioricet with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Fioricet will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use Fioricet without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
See also: Fioricet pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How should I take Fioricet?
Take Fioricet exactly as prescribed. Never take Fioricet in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. An overdose of this medication can damage your liver or cause death.Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain. Take the medicine with food or milk if it upsets your stomach.
Store Fioricet at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of the amount of Fioricet used from each new bottle. Butalbital is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
See also: Fioricet dosage (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since Fioricet is usually taken as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
Overdose symptoms may also include insomnia, restlessness, tremor, dizziness, drowsiness, diarrhea, increased sweating, shallow breathing, confusion, uneven heartbeats, seizure (convulsions), or coma.
What should I avoid while taking Fioricet?
Fioricet can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.
While you are taking Fioricet, avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor's advice.
Fioricet side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Fioricet: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Fioricet and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
feeling light-headed or short of breath;
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms.
Less serious Fioricet side effects may include:
dizziness, confusion or lightheadedness;
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
feeling anxious or jittery;
drunk feeling; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Fioricet side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Fioricet?
Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by butalbital.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT);
seizure medication such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
gout medications such as probenecid (Benemid) or sulfinpyrazone;
steroids such as prednisone, fluticasone (Advair), mometasone (Asmanex, Nasonex), dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol) and others; or
an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others.
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Fioricet. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Fioricet resources
- Fioricet Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Fioricet Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Fioricet capsules and tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Capacet Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Dolgic LQ elixir MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Dolgic Plus Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Esgic Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Esgic-Plus Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Margesic Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Nonbac Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Orbivan Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Zebutal Prescribing Information (FDA)
Compare Fioricet with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Fioricet.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Fioricet only for the indication prescribed.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.
Copyright 1996-2011 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01. Revision Date: 8/23/2011 1:33:10 PM.