If you suffer from recurring tension headaches or migraines, talk to your doctor and find out if Fioricet is a good treatment option for you.
What is Fioricet?
Fioricet is a brand name for a combination drug used to treat tension headaches, migraines, and sometimes other types of pain (although Fioricet is not expressly labeled as a general pain reliever). Fioricet is available only with a doctor's prescription, but if you are under a doctor's care for tension-related headache problems, it might be worth talking to your doctor about the possibility of using Fioricet to control your recurring or serious headaches.
Fioricet contains three drugs: acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine.
Acetaminophen is a well-known and popular pain reliever that is also available over-the-counter (OTC). Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol and other pain relievers. Since acetaminophen is readily available (and also found in many cough and cold products), patients taking Fioricet must be aware of the contents of any medications they are taking to avoid overdose.
Caffeine is also found in OTC drugs and in many foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, and colas. In Fioricet, caffeine is used to enhance the effectiveness of acetaminophen. When a patient is taking Fioricet, he or she should be careful to avoid most caffeine-containing substances to prevent overdose and caffeine-nervousness.
Butalbital is a member of the barbiturate class of drugs. It is a sedative that is used in Fioricet as a muscle-relaxer; the purpose of butalbital is to relieve the muscle tension associated with tension headaches. Since barbiturates can be habit-forming, care must be taken when using Fioricet to avoid dependency on the drug. Fioricet should only be taken as prescribed by the doctor, and patients should never exceed the recommended dose or use Fioricet more often than prescribed, even if the current dose is proving ineffective (diminished effectiveness may be a sign of tolerance and/or growing drug dependency addiction). Patients with a history of drug-dependency may not be given Fioricet.
There are a number of side-effects associated with Fioricet use, and very rarely allergic reaction may occur. Side-effects of Fioricet may include vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, anxiety, nervousness, shaking/tremor, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, or shortness of breath. Some of these side-effects may actually be signs of misuse, dependency, or withdrawal, and should be reported to your doctor. Severe side-effects can indicate an overdose of Fioricet which can be fatal; if you think you have overdosed on Fioricet, seek emergency medical help immediately. It may be necessary to come off Fioricet slowly in gradually decreasing doses to avoid negative side-effects and withdrawal; this should be discussed with the treating physician prior to stopping Fioricet.
Despite its risks, Fioricet is a very effective medicine for controlling tension-related headaches and migraines. When used as directed and under the continued supervision of a doctor, the risks of using Fioricet are greatly reduced, and many people have enjoyed great results with this drug. If you suffer from severe or chronic tension headaches, Fioricet may be the right headache medication for you.
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