What’s in Fioricet?

Fioricet is a tablet which contains three active ingredients, including 325 mg acetaminophen, 50 mg butalbital, and 40 mg caffeine. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1984. But the FDA in 2011 advised drug manufacturers to limit acetaminophen to not more than 325 mg to prevent consumers from developing severe liver damage that was associated with too much acetaminophen.

Acetaminophen acts as a pain reliever and helps in reducing the patient’s fever. Butalbital, on the other hand, relaxes muscle contractions that develop in a tension headache. Similar to butalbital, caffeine, a widely used psychoactive drug, also helps patients to relax muscle contractions and improve blood flow.

The patients who used Fioricet reported varying effects. Some patients reportedly find it effective in managing migraine. A 50-year-old patient said she didn’t find any side effects whenever she used the drug at the onset of her migraine. She said the medicine works after about 20 minutes of taking Fioricet. However, a 34-year-old patient found it “considerably effective” and noted some moderate side effects after taking the drug.

The patient took one to two tablets of Fioricet every four hours for the six months. She said each time she takes more than one pill since she finds the first dose ineffective in improving migraine, she will feel very dizzy and will be incapacitated until the effect has worn off. Some patients also reported having the feeling of agitation, insomnia, withdrawal syndrome and hallucination after taking Fioricet.

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