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Medications & Prescription Treatment

Fioricet

  • By Schmee

    I’m trialing Fioricet today as an abortive medication. The doctor promised that the sedating nature of the drug would outweigh the stimulation of the caffeine in this stuff, but if any of you have been following the ten posts I just made in the last hour, you might join me in wondering if its true.

    I was surprised when searching this forum that no-body has posted about this stuff since 2011. Any thoughts? Anyone use this stuff successfully? I’m concerned about about rebound, and about ever falling asleep tonight.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi schmee,

    Fioricet is not an abortive, but a pain reliever. Narcotics/opioids will NOT abort a migraine attack but just cover up the pain.

    Your concerns about rebound, now called medication overuse headache or moh, are valid. If we take migraine medications and/or pain relievers like Fioricet, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, more than two to three days a week we run the risk of getting moh. Moh can be brutal and make our migraine attacks more difficult to treat. AND we can end up in a daily cycle of pain that is hard to break. Our information on moh may help clear this up; https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/.

    We have a wonderful article on why doctors don’t like to prescribe these medication. They truly are not the best solotuion for migraine; https://migraine.com/blog/the-confusion-about-codeineopioids-and-migraine/.

    You may be interested in reading this information on a recent study; https://migraine.com/blog/opioid-prescriptions-hea
    dache-patients-primary-care/.

    If we have three or more severe attacks a month, it’s time to talk to our doctor about prevention rather than strictly abortive. Episodic (occasional) migraine can turn to chronic fairly quickly if we don’t take steps to manage them. Take a look at this information on migraine prevention; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-4-preventive-treatment/.

    I hope this helps,
    Nancy

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  • By Schmee

    Nancy – With all due respect, I find your post condescending. My doctor prescribed this medicine as a potential abortive. It didn’t work that way for me, but that what he prescribed it as.

    He did not want me to use it as a pain reliever because doing so would certainly lead to dependency, but he asked me to try it, specifically as an abortive.

    Are you a doctor? Is there any authority on which you post with such conviction that you are right and the migraine expert I’m seeing is wrong?

    Giving people prescriptive advice is very different than talking about your experiences. In this post, you are crossing the line from one to another. Again, I’m assuming that you are not a doctor and that you haven’t believed me to be your patient.

    I asked for information from someone who has tried this medicine before. Is this you? If so, do you have personal experiences to share? If its not you, why would you come online and give unsolicited advice to someone without even asking them about their situation? If you had asked, you might have realized how condescending your advice was going to sound. I’ve been dealing with this disorder for five years now. Do you really think I don’t know about the challenges of dealing with opoides?

    Perhaps, you’d like to read this post here: https://migraine.com/infographic/12-things-you-should-never-ever-say-to-a-chronic-migraineur/?r=

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  • By Schmee

    For others coming here for information, I’ll say this: The doctor wanted me to try taking this medicine when I first started to feel the back of my neck tighten, indicating I was about to go into a bad spell in my chronic migraines. He noticed that I stretch my neck a lot, which I do because I’m never pain free back there. I got a chance to try it a few weeks ago. Sadly, but predictably, it didn’t shorten the number of bad days I had. It was an outside chance, anyways.

    I did tolerate it fairly well, though. This is a first for me as the other meds have all created some bad side effects. So, I now have something I can take for the very worst of days, but not regularly.

    I took 5 doses in 5 days. I did have a little rebound anxiety. So in the future, I think I’ll be limiting this to one or two day’s use. It didn’t wipe out the headache, but I was more comfortable resting and I was able to work through it in my very quiet and comfy work environment.

    It didn’t keep me up all night! I slept great and I wasn’t too groggy in the day. But I did “need” more coffee in the morning, leading me to have to deal with caffeine withdrawal now as I get myself back to my safe, one cup a day rule.

    So basically: great pain reliever, didn’t help shorten the migraine, too dang bad it’s addictive as he!! and I can’t be on it long-term.

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  • By kimberlyflick

    Schmee, I don’t know how well you know these forums, but the moderators on here are very well-versed in these subjects. And, as a person who has taken Fioricet, I can tell you that after awhile Fioricet won’t help as much as it did initially.

    Are you seeing a neurologist who can give you advice regarding Fioricet moderation? Have you considered talking about preventive and/or abortive meds with your current doctor?

    We are all just a community trying to help each other and give each other ideas to continue dealing with our shared disability.

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  • By Jeff Rapp

    I have tried it and it did work well for my headaches or mild migraines that I did not want to take a 100mg Imitrex for. However I am caffeine sensitive and too much and I will have have withdrawal headaches. My Primary Care physician agreed with my concerns, so he prescribed Phrenlin. That is Fioricet without the caffeine. It is also why I liked Midrin as it worked better for me, but no caffeine. Just be careful if you use it regularly as its efficacy will diminish over time. I had to stop taking Fioricet for a while due to having to take 3 pills every 4 to 6 hours instead of 1 to 2 pills.

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  • By Schmee

    Thanks Jeff, for sharing your experience. I’m caffeine sensitive, too. I stopped caffeine again recently. I have a huge day at work and I’m actually afraid. hahaha! I don’t know how I’m going to get through without an artificial boost. :O My migraines do seem better since giving up all caffeine, including cocoa and tea. I’ve yet to “challenge” this by adding it back and noting the difference.

    I’m sorry to say that I’ve experienced several instances of the moderators on this board spreading mis-information and bad medical advice. I’ve been trying to keep my mouth shut, as I have faith that other participants have the good judgement to research and advice before following it. But its really hard. Self-control online is an interesting thing. If I was in a room with these people, I would leave that room so as to not put myself in the position of needing to reply. I happen to be a professional in the area of natural health, with a graduate degree, so I really do know a lot about chronic pain conditions. That’s the danger of joining an online conversation. People come into it not understanding who you are and what your baseline of knowledge is. And they can’t see the horrified look on my face when I read things like “have you seen a neurologist?” I want to bark back, “Do you think I’m stupid?”

    In case you were wondering (in response to other threads) : The NPA seal is not a mark of a good product, its just an marker that is completely unregulated and actually says nothing about the quality of the product. Petadolex has not changed its formula. Its still safe. Its in a legal battle with the German government over a change in its facilities. Germany is VERY strict, that”s why we trust their butterburr preparations. … those are the two that have stuck with me, but there have been more.

    I’ve chosen to not come back these forums because of this, but this thread keeps emailing me and goading me into replying to it. For the record, the floricet I was given was prescribed by a headache-specializing neurologist. Being an intelligent person, I researched it myself and tried it briefly. I discovered that it really isn’t for me. I’m now taking Indomethacin for pain flair-ups, and as I’m a atypical case, its doing brilliantly.

    I’m unclicking the follow button. Not as an aggression, but its really time to let this go. This is one medication that I I tried for five days over a month ago. It was a failed trial. I haven’t had a chance to ask my doc why he prescribed such a dependancy producing medicine to someone as chronic as I am. I suspect he was hoping that he could “break the cycle” and get a clearer picture of what’s triggering the whole thing, but I really can’t know for sure.

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    As a moderator, I wanted to clear the air on issues that have been raised on this Forum recently.
    The writers and moderators on Migraine.com are not doctors, nor do we pretend to be. We are, however, extremely well-versed in the topic and have been asked to lead the community because our experiences and education can help others.

    We have over 80,000 Facebook followers and about 500,000 website hits a month. We do our best to provide information in these Forums, not only to those asking questions, but for anyone else who may later be looking for answers on the same topic in the future. We can never assume that a member knows about Headache Specialists, Medication Overuse Headache, side effects, etc and we try to cover all the bases when responding. Ironically in the case mentioned above, the articles and information given fell in line with what was later experienced in taking this medication.

    As someone else mentioned, we are all here trying to support each other. At any time if you feel you are not getting the information and support you need, we are more than happy to further research or ask others in this field to help.

    Best wishes to all!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Erin

    I also have better success with fiorinal than any other medication and I have been at this for 20 years. I have had kaiser and they suddenly decided they will not prescribe it. My doctor left kaiser so I was left with new Drs that basically said it doesn’t work and it can’t work and I am full of it. Funny how the drug has been around for a hundred years and it’s never helped anyone? Not everyone is an addict and not everyone takes the drug inappropriately. I found a dr outside of kaiser who I had visited 10 years prior and he agreed I had tried everything out there and I am the proper candidate for Fiorinal. After 10 months of fighting with Kaiser, I am now back to 1-2 migraines a month and can work through them with the aid of Fiorinal. I really am still traumatized by what I had to go thru. Wonder if anyone else has been thru this?

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    Misserinr,
    I’ve not had that problem with getting Fiorinal, but I’ve had serious problems with getting things approved with Kaiser. You said it right, that it can become traumatic. Even though I had a plan that allowed me to go out of network, they would only approve Botox if I went to a Kaiser neurologist.

    I’m sure you’ve been through the appeal process with them on this issue. It can be very cumbersome to convince them you need a particular drug.

    I’m glad you’ve found a doctor that is willing to help you. If you go to drugsrx.com, you can find the pharmacy closest to you that sells Fiorinal the cheapest and gives you a coupon on top of that.

    Best wishes!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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