Fioricet

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  • #40348
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    Editorial Team
    Participant

    Welcome to the Fioricet Forum

  • #41587
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    Ellen
    Moderator

    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    Ellen
    Moderator

    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
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    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
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    Ellen
    Moderator

    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    Nancy Bonk
    Moderator

    You got it Merrie!

    Nancy

  • #44503
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    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
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    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
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    Chris Hicks
    Participant

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

  • #44550
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    Ellen
    Moderator

    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.

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