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What is the Side Effects of Fioricet ?

Fioricet Side Effects

Frequently Observed Fioricet Side Effects

The most frequently reported adverse reactions are drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling.

Infrequently Observed Fioricet Side Effects

All adverse events tabulated below are classified as infrequent.Central Nervous System: headache, shaky feeling, tingling, agitation, fainting, fatigue, heavy eyelids, high energy, hot spells, numbness, sluggishness, seizure. Mental confusion, excitement, or depression can also occur due to intolerance, particularly in elderly or debilitated patients, or due to overdosage of butalbital. Autonomic Nervous System: dry mouth, hyperhidrosis. Gastrointestinal: difficulty swallowing, heartburn, flatulence, constipation. Cardiovascular: tachycardia. Musculoskeletal: leg pain, muscle fatigue. Genitourinary: diuresis. Miscellaneous: pruritus, fever, earache, nasal congestion, tinnitus, euphoria, allergic reactions. Several cases of dermatological reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis and erythema multiforme, have been reported. 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 (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine) is a combination pain reliever and muscle relaxant used in the treatment of tension headache and migraine, even any kinds of headache. It is available as a generic prescription. Generic Fioricet is much cheaper than Brand Fioricet but they almost have the same effects and same side effects. The most frequently reported adverse reactions or side effects of fioricet are: drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling.  

Common side effects of Fioricet oral:
Irritation of the Stomach or Intestines Less Severe
Drowsiness Less Severe
Dizzy Less Severe
  Infrequent side effects of Fioricet oral:
Depression Severe
Sluggishness Severe
Confused Severe
Over Excitement Severe
Nightmares Less Severe
Incomplete or Infrequent Bowel Movements Less Severe
Feeling Faint Less Severe
Sensation of Spinning or Whirling Less Severe
Chronic Trouble Sleeping Less Severe
Head Pain Less Severe
Feel Like Throwing Up Less Severe
Throwing Up Less Severe
Nervous Less Severe
Easily Angered or Annoyed Less Severe
Anxious Less Severe
  Rare side effects of Fioricet oral:
Discolored Spots and Small Elevations of the Skin Severe
Acute Pustular Eruptions on Skin Severe
Extra Heartbeat Severe
Feeling of Throat Tightness Severe
Acute Liver Failure Severe
Hepatitis Severe
Hepatitis caused by Drugs Severe
Inflammation of Skin caused by an Allergy Severe
Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Severe
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Severe
Skin Rash with Sloughing Severe
Decreased Calcification or Density of Bone Severe
Loss of Memory Severe
Hallucination Severe
Rash Severe
Wheezing Severe
Trouble Breathing Severe
Life Threatening Allergic Reaction Severe
Giant Hives Severe
Reaction due to an Allergy Severe
Rickets Severe
Megaloblastic Anemia Severe
Decreased Blood Platelets Severe
Deficiency of Granulocytes a Type of White Blood Cell Severe
Decreased White Blood Cells Severe
Decreased Neutrophils a Type of White Blood Cell Severe
Taking Habit Forming Drugs Less Severe
Feeling Restless Less Severe
Blind Spot in the Eye Less Severe
Perform Complex Natural behaviors while Asleep Less Severe
Increased Feeling of the Skin Less Severe
Ringing in the Ears Less Severe
Hives Less Severe
Involuntary Quivering Less Severe
Uncoordinated Less Severe
Fast Heartbeat Less Severe
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medication 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 side effects may include:
  • drowsiness;
  • dizziness, confusion or lightheadedness;
  • dry mouth;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • feeling anxious or jittery;
  • drunk feeling; or
  • headache.
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. Fioricet Side Effects

Before taking Fioricet

Do not use Fioricet if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. You should not use Fioricet if you are allergic to acetaminophen, butalbital, or caffeine, if you have porphyria, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications. To make sure Fioricet is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
    • liver disease, cirrhosis, a history of alcoholism or drug addiction, or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day;
    • kidney disease;
    • asthma, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorder;
    • stomach ulcer or bleeding;
    • a history of skin rash caused by any medication;
    • a history of mental illness or suicidal thoughts; or
    • if you use medicine to prevent blood clots.
It is not known whether Fioricet will harm an unborn baby. If you use butalbital while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Fioricet Effects of Addiction

Abusing Fioricet or being addicted to it can be incredibly dangerous for multiple reasons. The first is because of the acetaminophen. Acetaminophen in amounts of more than 4000 mg a day can lead to liver damage and acute liver failure, particularly if it’s also combined with alcohol. Then, there’s the dangers of overdose and respiratory depression that can come with the butalbital in Fioricet.


It’s important only to use Fioricet as instructed by your physician to avoid these risks and also to lower your risk of becoming addicted to it. Some of the signs of Fioricet addiction include:

  • Being preoccupied with the use of Fioricet or always trying to find more of it.
  • Doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions.
  • Taking it any way other than how your doctor instructs you or regularly taking it for recurring headaches.
  • Developing a tolerance to Fioricet is one of the first side effects of Firocet abuse. With tolerance, you have to take higher doses to get an effect. This can not only indicate a Fioricet abuse problem, but it also puts you at a higher risk of an overdose or liver failure.

If you are experiencing Fioricet effects that could indicate you have a problem, it’s important to speak with your doctor. It is possible to develop a tolerance for this drug, as was touched on above, so if you suddenly stop taking it you may experience withdrawal. Your physician or an addiction specialist can help you determine the best actions to take if you have an addiction to barbiturates like Fioricet.


  1. for migraine

    I have migraines since 1998

    I do not have any side effects while taking butalbital. It is the only migraine medication that allows me to be coherent with no side effects and has worked very well for me.

  2. A-typical mirgraine

    I experienced fogginess in the head, dizziness, lightheadedness, body jitters, hot rashes on face, neck and arms, muscle pain in arms. Euphoria, inability to focus. paranoia, anxiety

  3. Severe Migraine facial pain

    Euphoria, then some vomiting, after that I felt paranoid, like I was going to die, I have panic attacks, I do not recommend this med if you get panic attacks like I do, BUT I only took 1 pill so far, I am a lil iffy about this pill, since the side effects may cause death, I will only take this in extreme pain. I find Zofran 8 mg to help migraines.

  4. Occipital Neuralgia Headache

    Very talkative first couple of years right after pill kicked in, not anymore. Nausea if taking two pills at once. Rebound headaches if taking more than 4 a day.

  5. Anonymous

    I’ve taken Fioricet for migraines since I was in my late teens. I’m now in my 50’s. I previously owned a pharmacy and always had access to this medication, but was always extremely careful due to it’s potential for abuse. For the past 20 years I would say my usage would be on average 10-15 pills per year, sometimes less, sometimes more, which I view as non-addictive usage.
    My primary doctor and neurologist don’t like to prescribe Fioricet, as they are concerned about abuse. I disagree, as some migraines require a kick from this medication. In most cases I’ll use Excedrine Migraine and that does the trick, thus limiting my Fioricet usage.
    I’ve been asked: “you’re not knocked out from taking 2 Fioricet?” – no, never, it simply gets rid of my Migraine.
    Having just recovered from COVID-19, I now get these cracking headaches, which occur daily. Absolutely horrible. I’ll try a Tylenol or Excedrine Migraine and that will sometimes tamp down the excruciating pain, but other times I can’t get relief except from Fioricet.
    For me it’s a godsend. Clearly because of the new frequency of headaches I need to use this medication with increased caution, and I will. If I feel the pain is so bad that my option would be to cut my head off or if I just can’t shake it with Tylenol/ Excedrine Migraine, then it’s time for Fioricet. For me it simply works as intended and because of my concerns for abuse, I use it with caution.
    While there are other medications for migraines available, for me, I don’t see them as better solutions, as their side effects are greater. Why should I take a medication at the onset, (recommended use / best result) of a migraine when all I need is an over the counter Excedrine Migraine? If that doesn’t work, Fioricet is my next line of defense. Seems like a better option than always taking a side effect packed medication.

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