Fioricet is indicated for the treatment of muscle tension or muscle contraction headaches. It is also commonly prescribed for migraines although it is not FDA indicated for this use in the United States. The usual adult dose is 1-2 tablets every four hours as needed, not exceeding six tablets in a 24-hour period. An overdose can damage your liver or cause death. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of this combination product in the treatment of multiple recurrent headaches is unavailable. Caution in this regard is required because butalbital is habit-forming and potentially abusable.
Extended and repeated use of this product is not recommended because of the potential for physical dependence.
Butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine combination is used to relieve symptoms of tension (or muscle contraction) headaches.
Butalbital belongs to the group of medicines called barbiturates. Barbiturates act in the central nervous system (CNS) to produce their effects.
Acetaminophen is used to relieve pain and reduce fever in patients. It does not become habit-forming when taken for a long time. But acetaminophen may cause other unwanted effects when taken in large doses, including liver damage.
When butalbital is used for a long time, it may become habit-forming, causing mental or physical dependence. However, people who have continuing pain should not let the fear of dependence keep them from using narcotics to relieve their pain. Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal side effects if treatment is stopped suddenly. However, severe withdrawal side effects can usually be prevented by gradually reducing the dose over a period of time before treatment is stopped completely.
Caffeine is a CNS stimulant that is used with pain relievers to increase their effect. It has also been used for migraine headaches. However, caffeine can also cause physical dependence when it is used for a long time. This may lead to withdrawal (rebound) headaches when you stop taking it.
This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
This product is available in the following dosage forms:
BAC is available in capsules, tablets, or a liquid. The number of capsules or tablets you take varies by medication.
In capsule form, the recommended dosage is usually one to two pills every 4 hours as needed.
In liquid form, it’s usually 15 milliliters (mL) or 30 mL of oral suspension every 4 hours, up to a certain amount per day.
Be sure to read the prescription directions.
BAC can become habit-forming. To lower risk, doctors recommend that you do not:
- take a larger dose
- take it more often than a doctor prescribes
- take it for a longer period than a doctor prescribes
Use it exactly as directed and for a limited time. If you think you need more than the prescribed amount for your symptoms or need to take it for longer, contact your healthcare team to discuss.