Fioricet

CLICK TO RATE 
  • Author
    Posts
  • #40348
    Profile Photo
    Editorial Team
    Participant

    Welcome to the Fioricet Forum

  • #41587
    Profile Photo
    lizzie
    Participant

    Looks like I’m the only one out there still taking Fioricet! I tried everything available 25 years ago, including preventive meds. Since menopause, my headaches aren’t as severe and the Fioricet usually works, but sometimes I have to take two or three of them in a day.

  • #41588
    Profile Photo
    sashamcinnis
    Participant

    I was also prescribed Floricet by my doctor who is not a neurologist. I noticed that it helped with lesser, tension-type headaches but not full blown migraines. It’s my belief that it is because it has almost the same ingredients as OTC Exedrin (ie. caffeine and tylenol) with the exception of the
    Butalbital. So in other words, I felt loopy and caffeinated at the same time. This med didn’t work for me. Hope my post was helpful. :)

  • #41589
    Profile Photo
    Kym
    Participant

    Fioricet doesn’t work for me but Fiorinal with codeine is the only thing that I can tolerate that does work for me. I’ve tried and tried and tried and tired what feels like a million other meds from abortive to rescue but the Fiorinal #3 is the only one that I can consistently take that works, that I can tolerate and that still allows me to be somewhat functioning.

  • #41590
    Profile Photo
    britany
    Participant

    I take fioricet and find it to work but my doctor says not to take more than like 2 pills in a month or i will get rebound headaches… =/ so i try not to take more than that if i can help it.

  • #41591
    Profile Photo
    jillybean
    Participant

    I was prescribed fioricet and I never noticed a difference except like one user said, feeling dopey but caffeinated. I have found Inderal to help control my migraines and when I do have a break through migraine percocet 5mg normally help. I hope this is helpful.

  • #41592
    Profile Photo
    Dr Whyte
    Participant

    Butalbital compounds (Fioricet, Fiorinal, Esgic, for example) have never been shown to help any headache in any scientific studies and cause more problems than they should. They are not recommended by most headache specialists.

    And they are still commonly prescribed so no you are not alone.

  • #41593
    Profile Photo
    Shelley
    Participant

    I was also prescribed Fioricet by my doctor, but not my neurologist. I have been taking them now for a few years,not daily, but 2-3 times a week in the last 4-5 months when my headaches are very bad. My neurologist gave me Lortab but I don’t like how that makes me feel and I don’t want to take it while i’m working during the day. I have found that nothing much works lately. I have been having headaches daily. My doctor didn’t mention rebound headaches, but after reading info on this site, I’m beginning to think that may be what I am having.

  • #41594

    I have intercystial cystitis and Recently started having severe migraines again. My neurologist recommended my urologist take me off elmiron because he feels its part of the problem but they said its not a medication I can stop. That being said I went in to my medical doctor this morning and she prescribed Fioricet. When my neuro doctor finally called me back this afternoon and I told him what she prescribed he told me NOT to take it and if I choose to he will no longer treat me. So now I’m back to square ! and feel like i basically have a choice live with the migraines or stop the elmiron and live with the pain of my IC. What do u do?

  • #41595
    Profile Photo
    Ellen
    Participant

    shaneandnikkiredding – Don’t give up yet! It is likely that a reason your doctor doesn’t want you taking Fioricet is because of the very real chance you could end up with MOH (medication overuse headache). Once you get in MOH you are in a really super tough spot. Patients in MOH are often noncompliant with treatment and continue to get worse and worse with time. The doctor may want to help, but without a compliant patient they are left basically helpless to help you. This is very frustrating for the doctor and they tend to feel like hamsters running on a wheel in a cage.

    I know how vitally important the Elmiron is to your IC. I am first of all glad that it is helping. I can’t help but wonder though, has your doctor ever given you bladder infusions to help with the IC and its associated pain? As bad as it sounds, I know a couple women who have had it done routinely with excellent results. Should something like that be effective, you may not have to take the Elmiron anymore.

    There are many preventives that your doctor could try with you. Have you been on any in the past?

    Have you ever tried a triptan or DHE?

  • #41596
    Profile Photo
    Karen
    Participant

    I am on Fioricet (w/out codeine), and have found that while it does not help the pain itself…it does allow me to sleep when I am otherwise unable to do so because of the pain. The pain is masked just enough…I do try to be cautious when using Fioricet, but have found that not only does it help me at night sleep with severe migraine pain, but if I am also having issues with my fibromyalgia and cannot sleep, I am able to find sweet relief in sleep after taking a Fioricet. It is far from being my first line of defense…but when nothing else is working, and I am despirate for sleep…well…

  • #41597
    Profile Photo
    carladul
    Participant

    I must be in the minority. I was first prescirbed fioricet 4 yrs ago and it was the only thing I had tried to date that helped with my migraines. I had to quit taking it 2 yrs ago due to insurance no longer covering it but was recently put back on it due the fact that all of the other meds I had tried in that time either didnt help at all or had very little effect on my full blown migraines. I am also on Amerge which I find does help if I take it early enough. The problem there is I get 9 pills per month. You have to take the Amerge early on in the migraine and it is sometimes hard to tell what is the start of a migraine or just a really bad headache. If I dont take the Amerge ealry enough it is nice to know that I have something to use as a backup if I need it. I dont find that fioricet makes me sleepy or unable to function. And as the mother of 4 that is a HUGE thing with me.

  • #41598
    Profile Photo
    Teri-Robert
    Participant

    Carladul,

    One way some of us can tell the difference between a Migraine and a headache is to hold on to something and bend over. If bending over makes it worse, it’s most likely a Migraine. They’re exacerbated by physical activity.

    Sometimes, insurance companies will approve more doses of your triptan is your doctor sends them a litter and gets the prescription preapproved. Have you checked into that?

    Teri

  • #41599
    Profile Photo
    Dr Whyte
    Participant

    Actually, it seems that though people may have migraine and tension type, the tension type is probably part of the migraine spectrum and it may be hard to tell what the difference is. I tell my migraine patients to use migraine meds like Amerge even for a mild headache. But of course with good preventatives, etc one shouldn’t be worried about 9 per month limit. Again, I think butalbital compounds like Fioricet should be pulled from the market.

  • #41600
    Profile Photo
    zeenac
    Participant

    I have recently been taking Phrenilin, which I believe is Acetaminophen and Butalbital- no caffeine like Fioricet. So far it’s working pretty well with few side-effects. I’ve taken it about once a week for the past four weeks.

  • #41601

    I take Fioricet with codeine and I find that it relieves the otherwise excruciating pain. To avoid MOH I only use it as a last resort medication. Which means I am at the point where nothing could be worse so it is worth the any risks.

  • #41602
    Profile Photo
    nancys61
    Participant

    I was prescribed Fioricet with and without codeine by my pcp. Over time, I was getting more and more migraines, eventually getting migraines every day. I ended up having to go to a Headache Specialist who advised that my increasing use of Fioricet was indeed causing medication overuse headaches. I had to go through a very long and painful 4 month period during which the only pain medication I could take for my daily migraines was Amerg no more than twice weekly. It was a difficult period, but I got through it and I learned my lesson. I destroyed my remaining Fioricet. I still take pain mediation only 2 and occasionally 3 days a week. I don’t ever want to experience medication overuse headaches again.

  • #41603
    Profile Photo
    Ellen
    Participant

    ACHINGHEAD – I am SO terribly sorry you experienced this. I still cannot comprehend why physicians don’t educate their patients about MOH. This is one reason however, why as advocates, we try to really harp on patients to educate themselves about their conditions and their medications. Doctors do not tell us everything we need to know. We can’t depend on them for that. That part must be our responsibility as patients.

  • #41605
    Profile Photo
    med1311
    Participant

    I have had migraines for over thirthy years. Have had every test imaginable and the only meds I now take is Fioricet, it is the only thing that lessens the attack and don’t know what I would do without it. Caution: Fiorinal actually gave me a bleeding ulcer!!

  • #41606
    Profile Photo
    Ellen
    Participant

    med1311 – I am glad that you have one thing that seems to help you. However, your bleeding ulcer comment did concern me just a little.

    How often do you take your Fioricet?

  • #44434
    Profile Photo
    neugrey
    Participant

    Besides MOH, why does everyone feel that Fioricet is so harmful? Please educate me as I have to take it a few times a week due to chronic migraines. Nothing else has worked for me. I have chronic migraines and due to being sensitive to many drugs my neurologist stated that there wasn’t anything else I could take. I’ve tried many different medications. And just to clarify, my neurologist did ask me to back off of Fioricet due to MOH but she also agreed that I didn’t have many other options. I would just like to know if there are any other reasons that Fioricet should not be taken.

    Thanks!

  • #44439
    Profile Photo
    merrie
    Participant

    Hi,
    I am in a similar situation regarding meds, but unfortunately fioricet does not work for me anymore(never was that great). So I have stopped taking it unless I am desperate and feel like if I don’t at least try something I won’t make it. (In other words, it more that I need to do something psychologically even if it doesn’t work). The biggest issue with fioricet other than MOH is that it just covers up the symptoms of a migraine, doesn’t make it go away. I have found that when I do that, whether with fioricet or some other pain reliever, the headache comes back as soon as the meds wear off more often than not. Also, I have read of several people who have become addicted addicted to or dependant on fioricet, so it has those risks like any other pain med.
    Merrie

  • #44450
    Profile Photo
    Nancy Bonk
    Moderator

    Hi neugrey,

    Fioricet and other pain medications like it simply mask migraine pain – they do not abort it. Stopping the migraine process is tops on the list of a good migraine treatment plan, covering up migraine pain is not.

    Now having said that fioricet and other pain medications can be used sparingly (no more than two to three times a week due to increased moh risk) as a rescue medication when our abortives fail.

    The first line of treatment in migraine plan is prevention. The general rule of thumb is that if we have three or more severe migraine attacks a month we need to discuss migraine prevention medication with our doctor.

    When we get an attack we use abortives such as the triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt and so on) or ergotamines like Migranal Nasal spray.

    If the abortives fail, then we use rescue medications like fioricet or others.

    Do you take a migraine preventive medication? Let me share some information with you on the 7 Essentials of Migraine Management if you haven’t seen it yet. It is very helpful; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essentials/.

    Let me know what you think,
    Nancy

  • #44453
    Profile Photo
    Nancy Bonk
    Moderator

    You got it Merrie!

    Nancy

  • #44503
    Profile Photo
    Chris Hicks
    Participant

    Hello Everyone,

    After years with neurologists that specialize in treating migraine I have fully embraced the concept of rebound from overuse of abortive medications. I don’t know how many people keep a migraine diary, but I do. In fact, I have built a spreadsheet in which I track not only my migraines but also, among other things, the abortive medications I take. I have, in this spreadsheet, built in a some simple formulas that color code cells to let me know when I am approaching rebound territory. This visual cue helps me manage the balancing act of treating with abortives versus settling in to let the migraine run its course. With migraine as frequent as I have them there really is very little option other than letting some of these go untreated.

    I would also say that, beyond rebound, it is a good idea to be very mindful and thoughtful about what you put into your body to treat the migraine. I know for me there was a time when I would simply grab some (or a handful) pills in an attempt to stop the pain. It can be dangerous to mindlessly take pills. Thinking about rebound, tracking my abortive use in a spreadsheet or simply being mindful, these are some helpful techniques in this ongoing war against (chronic) migraine.

    Take Care,
    Chris

  • #44526
    Profile Photo
    Amy2013
    Participant

    Butalbital didn’t work for me either. If it works for some people, Hurray! Anything to kill the throbbing brain-eating pain in the head.

  • #44528
    Profile Photo
    Chris Hicks
    Participant

    Brain-eating pain… that’s where I am living today!!!!!!

  • #44550
    Profile Photo
    Ellen
    Participant

    Chris, congratulations on your uber management skills.

    We also did the spreadsheet thing, complete with color coding. Added in triggers like weather/pressure levels etc. Ended up abandoning it as with time we got very good at managing without having to deal with sitting at the computer 10 times a day to enter things. There is a point at which journaling etc can get intrusive. If it’s helping you, at the very least it is also telling your doctor that you are serious about getting these things under control. At the worst it can make him/her think you’re obsessively compulsive about your Migraines, and even hysterically afraid of them. I’ve seen it go both ways, and there’s never a really good way to figure out which doc is going to react which way.

    Keeping track of how you’re taking your meds is vitally important though. We don’t have a lot of control over our Migraines, but this is one part where we DO have some control!

    ~Ellen

  • #44825
    Profile Photo
    yaiyai789
    Participant

    No YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE TAKING FIORICET, SOME DAYS I HAVE TO TAKE 6, ON THE DAYS OF 6 PILLS I HAVE TO TAKE 2 AT A TIME. IT WORKS MOST OF THE TIME BUT I ALSO HAVE TO USE A TENS UNIT.HERE OF LATE I CAN’T GET RID OF MR. MIGRAINE. I JUST WISH HE WOULD TAKE A VACATION.

  • #44839
    Profile Photo
    Nancy Bonk
    Moderator

    Hi yaiyai789,

    It’s unfortunate, but Fioricet is still being prescribed for migraines. The problem is taking migraine abortive medications and/or pain relievers (like Fioricet) whether they are over-the-counter or by prescription, more than two to three days a week, can increase our risk of a condition called medication overuse headache, or moh formerly called rebound. If we have moh, we will continue to have unending daily head pain in a cycle that won’t end. And it makes our migraine attacks more difficult to treat. Please take a look at this information on moh to see how to end this vicious cycle; http://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/.

    Nancy

  • #44869
    Profile Photo
    yaiyai789
    Participant

    Hi Nancy

    Thanks for your answer on Fioricet. I have always been afraid of taking to many of these along with other meds I have had to take or try to help with my migraines. After two days of having back to back BAD mirgaines and using my TENS unit instead of taking more pills I ended up taking sumatriptan 100mg. At bed time. I don’t like taking these pills but I was beyond my point of pain. It takes a lot of pain for me to take them. I try everything like working outside, reading or doing something I really like to do
    . Taking special care of my therapy dog who will not leave my side during these days. I will talk to my neurologist when I go in for my Botox injections about over use of the Fioricet. Thanks for the Heads Up on the use of the meds. P.S. I live a stressed life as a care giver for my husband. I feel sometimes this trigers my migraines along with the weather. But I keep on smilling.

  • #51205
    Profile Photo
    Journeyer14
    Participant

    The thing about Fioricet, for me, is that it makes my migraine days less miserable. Not just becuase it relieves some of the muscle and joint pain, but because it makes me feel more positive and perky and energetic despite bottomed out serotonin levels. I suppose some would judge me for enjoying the little bit of euphoria that comes from the barbituates. But my god, I’ve suffered from chronic migraines, and the negative mental state that comes with them, for almost 30 years. I don’t drink or smoke pot or do any other drugs (except for Imitrex). And I only take Fioricet during my 1-2 weeks of pms/menstruation/postms hell. I’m a mom of 2 kids and own my own business and sometimes I just HAVE to function, despite the stupid migraines, muscle/joint pain and fatigue. Fioricet helps me stay (temporarily) functional.

    I had migraines for over 20 years before I was prescribed Fioricet (about 8 years ago). And I occasionally go months without it to give my liver a break and reboot my system. I also like to try new, healthy things to eradicate my migraines, like avoid gluten and dairy or take magnesium or whatever (I never give up hope of curing this awful disease!). My pattern of head and muscle aches and fatigue are exactly the same with or without Fioricet – I just don’t have that little 4 hour boost to get some things done. I recently had a new nurse at my doctor’s office give me a lecture about refilling my Fioricet every couple months (40 pills). She told me about new studies that had come out about the dependency risks and rebound headache potential. I said I’ve never had these problems, but is there something they could replace it with? She recommended I take ibuprofen instead. Seriously. I have an ulcer from all the ibuprofen I’ve taken over the years, despite the fact that it barely does anything. I don’t have a drug problem. I have a chronic migraine problem.

    I’m not trying to diminish the issues some people have had with this drug. It’s really not one to trifle with. The benefits outweigh the risks for me personally, though. And until something better comes along, I don’t think it should be withheld from responsible migraine sufferers.

  • #52138
    Profile Photo
    mygrainetoo
    Participant

    Carladul & Neugrey –

    I also found immediate & total relief with Fioricet. As for my test for the ‘real migraine’: two aspirins with a cup of coffee, the move around (bend over, walk, hop, etc) & smell test (open containers in the fridge) & get into bright light & try to read – all for about 30 minutes before I take the Fioricet. I am taking a 50 mg Topamax at night & am supposed to add a 2nd pill next week to try to minimize use of Fioricet. I am so elated to have some life control back I can hardly stand it. A month ago I was having 2 -3 day migraines 4 – 8 times a month. When they started I would try to think of everything I had planned for the next 3 days & quickly prioritize what I could do before I was bedridden & projectile vomiting.

  • #53133
    Profile Photo
    suzanneeileen
    Participant

    When it comes to treating chronic migraine, my first preference would be for my preventatives to work (currently, Amitriptyline and Botox). But since so far they aren’t helping all that much, my second preference is triptans (Maxalt and Relpax). My problem, however, is that the triptans make me a bit fuzzy. If it’s a work day, I try to work from home if possible so I can take the Maxalt. But if I have to come into the office and look alert, I need an alternative.

    That’s where the fioricet comes in. It doesn’t work as well as the triptans, but it can take the edge off and enable me to suck it up and fake being okay for whatever essential meeting dragged me into the office. My neurologist was reluctant to prescribe it, but we had a heart to heart chat about MOH, and I promised to try my best to keep my fioricet/triptan intake to as close to 3 days a week as I could. As a result, I take fioricet at most once a week, and keep the triptans down to 3 days out of 7. No-drug days really suck, but I’ve had rebound headaches before, and they are truly awful.

    I think the main downside of my approach is that I’m hesitant to use my abortive drugs at the onset of a migraine, because I don’t want to waste a drug day if the migraine won’t be that bad. Thus the triptans are never quite as effective as they could be. Haven’t figured that one out yet.

  • #53153
    Profile Photo
    Dr Whyte
    Participant

    Has your neurologist tried DHE and other formulations of NSAIDS?

  • #53182
    Profile Photo
    suzanneeileen
    Participant

    Haven’t tried DHE. A few years ago, I went a little overboard on Excedrin and my stomach revolted (severe bouts of acute gastritis) so my gut doctor said no more NSAIDs. That’s when I started on fioricet.

  • #53230
    Profile Photo
    Dr Whyte
    Participant

    Technically you are in medication overuse with triptans more than 10 days a week as what you described above. Fioricet can contribute at 5 days a month

  • #53234
    Profile Photo
    Dr Whyte
    Participant

    I meant ten days a month above

  • #54403
    Profile Photo
    LindyLoo
    Participant

    I am so thankful for the insights of everyone here. I feel blanket statements such as the Dr saying “Fioricet should be pulled from the market” is typical of Drs who do not see the patient as an individual.
    I have had migraines since the 1960s. Through the decades I have been a compliant (guinea pig) patient to 7 neurologists and countless Physicians. (Including Dr J Saper and team).
    None of them, or the “next new thing” meds, ever helped, and most treatments I had severe negative reactions to.
    At 35-40 years old, my migraines became chronic and complicated. Still compliant and miserable.
    Then, when given (get ready to fall off your seats) a daily combination of Fioricet and Cafergot, I have a life! I feel alive, I feel as if I am in control and I am not on my couch or bathroom floor every day.
    Why is my quality of life at risk of being pulled out from under me, because of MOH? Take away these meds, and I am violently ill, in severe pain and incapable of living an enjoyable active life.
    I just do not understand. We found what does work for me. I have not been to an ER in a decade and I don’t need MORE or run out. 3 Fioricet each day and 1/2 cafergot suppository. When not on these, I go right back to chronic daily HA/migraine.
    Aren’t some uses unique?

  • #54404
    Profile Photo
    LindyLoo
    Participant

    Another question.
    When I was off from (and before I was taking) the Fioricet/Cafergot daily combo, I had 30 days of chronic Intractable Migraine per month.
    With all of the severe complications to treatments tried, and with other medical dxs, is MOH really a problem for me? Because I am being helped and my quality of life is improved (greatly) while on the meds, and when off I was always severely sick.
    I am in my 50s and don’t have any energy for going back to being a guinea pig again. I was near-suicidal when dealing with all of those side effects and no relief from the migraines.

  • #55047
    Profile Photo
    AmyOT
    Participant

    The discussion about Fioricet is very interesting, but also confusing. I had to stop taking triptans recently due to a cardiac issue and my family practice dr. prescribed fioricet. If I have been taking 1 – 2 a day for about a week is there a danger of seizures/withdrawal if I stop “cold turkey” once this cycle of migraines stops?

  • #55049
    Profile Photo
    AmyOT
    Participant

    Also, has anyone here had supraventricular tachycardia and a cardiac ablation? I doubt if it’s related to migraines but who knows, maybe there is some connection. thanks~ and hope everyone is having a migraine-free/pain-free night

  • #55067
    Profile Photo
    AmyOT
    Participant

    Hi Katie,
    wow, thanks so much for finding and posting this. It’s very interesting. Now I’m wondering if the slight reduction in migraines i’ve had is from the ablation or from going off the triptans, which might have been causing rebounds. Thanks again! Amy

  • #55092
    Profile Photo
    Dr Whyte
    Participant

    To LindyLoo:

    “I feel blanket statements such as the Dr saying ‘Fioricet should be pulled from the market’ is typical of Drs who do not see the patient as an individual.”

    —–I’m going to disagree with this statement as I say this all the time and I treat all my patients as individuals.

    “I just do not understand. We found what does work for me. I have not been to an ER in a decade and I don’t need MORE or run out. 3 Fioricet each day and 1/2 cafergot suppository. When not on these, I go right back to chronic daily HA/migraine.
    Aren’t some uses unique?”

    —–Yes, some cases are unique but in the majority there is a problem with MOH, especially Fioricet. Recent studies have shown that the changes that occur in the brain seen on functional MRIs in MOH patients can take MONTHS to clear. I find that it can be WEEKS to clear MOH, especially with being on Fioricet for years. Clinically, it could take a long time for MOH to clear. It’s getting through the withdrawal phase that can drive patients (and myself) insane as often treatments will not work. The problem would be if headaches increase AND/OR your Fioricet intake increases. That means it’s not working. I’m not saying what Dr. Saper is doing wrong as there are unique cases in some individuals; I just chose the path of no butalbital mixtures. That’s how I was trained

  • #55111
    Profile Photo
    Mary Butler Groom
    Participant

    I was recently at Mayo Clinic in MN. I was told to stop the Fioricet as it cause Medication Overuse and rebound headaches.

  • #55168
    Profile Photo
    mygrainetoo
    Participant

    To Mary Butler Groom -

    What are you currently using in place of Fioricet and is it working as well, better, or not as well?

    I hope you are a lot better after your visit to Mayo!

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

advertisement