Are there any negative side effects of the pain killer Fioricet?

Are there any negative side effects of the pain killer Fioricet?
My doctor prescribed Fioricet to me for my migraines. My Rx says that I can take 2 pills – 4 times a day. Are there any known long term side effects from using this drug? I take them pretty regularly.

Best answer:

Fioricet Side Effects

Fioricet Side Effects

Frequently Observed Fioricet Side Effects

The most frequently reported adverse reactions are drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling.

Infrequently Observed Fioricet Side Effects

All adverse events tabulated below are classified as infrequent.Central Nervous System: headache, shaky feeling, tingling, agitation, fainting, fatigue, heavy eyelids, high energy, hot spells, numbness, sluggishness, seizure. Mental confusion, excitement, or depression can also occur due to intolerance, particularly in elderly or debilitated patients, or due to overdosage of butalbital. Autonomic Nervous System: dry mouth, hyperhidrosis. Gastrointestinal: difficulty swallowing, heartburn, flatulence, constipation. Cardiovascular: tachycardia. Musculoskeletal: leg pain, muscle fatigue. Genitourinary: diuresis. Miscellaneous: pruritus, fever, earache, nasal congestion, tinnitus, euphoria, allergic reactions. Several cases of dermatological reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis and erythema multiforme, have been reported. Fioricet contains a combination of acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Butalbital is in a group of drugs called barbiturates. It relaxes muscle contractions involved in a tension headache. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels to improve blood flow. Fioricet (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine) is a combination pain reliever and muscle relaxant used in the treatment of tension headache and migraine, even any kinds of headache. It is available as a generic prescription. Generic Fioricet is much cheaper than Brand Fioricet but they almost have the same effects and same side effects. The most frequently reported adverse reactions or side effects of fioricet are: drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling.

Common side effects of Fioricet oral:

Irritation of the Stomach or Intestines Less Severe
Drowsiness Less Severe
Dizzy Less Severe

Infrequent side effects of Fioricet oral:

Depression Severe
Sluggishness Severe
Confused Severe
Over Excitement Severe
Nightmares Less Severe
Incomplete or Infrequent Bowel Movements Less Severe
Feeling Faint Less Severe
Sensation of Spinning or Whirling Less Severe
Chronic Trouble Sleeping Less Severe
Head Pain Less Severe
Feel Like Throwing Up Less Severe
Throwing Up Less Severe
Nervous Less Severe
Easily Angered or Annoyed Less Severe
Anxious Less Severe

Rare side effects of Fioricet oral:

Discolored Spots and Small Elevations of the Skin Severe
Acute Pustular Eruptions on Skin Severe
Extra Heartbeat Severe
Feeling of Throat Tightness Severe
Acute Liver Failure Severe
Hepatitis Severe
Hepatitis caused by Drugs Severe
Inflammation of Skin caused by an Allergy Severe
Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Severe
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Severe
Skin Rash with Sloughing Severe
Decreased Calcification or Density of Bone Severe
Loss of Memory Severe
Hallucination Severe
Rash Severe
Wheezing Severe
Trouble Breathing Severe
Life Threatening Allergic Reaction Severe
Giant Hives Severe
Reaction due to an Allergy Severe
Rickets Severe
Megaloblastic Anemia Severe
Decreased Blood Platelets Severe
Deficiency of Granulocytes a Type of White Blood Cell Severe
Decreased White Blood Cells Severe
Decreased Neutrophils a Type of White Blood Cell Severe
Taking Habit Forming Drugs Less Severe
Feeling Restless Less Severe
Blind Spot in the Eye Less Severe
Perform Complex Natural behaviors while Asleep Less Severe
Increased Feeling of the Skin Less Severe
Ringing in the Ears Less Severe
Hives Less Severe
Involuntary Quivering Less Severe
Uncoordinated Less Severe
Fast Heartbeat Less Severe

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
  • feeling light-headed or short of breath;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;
  • dizziness, confusion or lightheadedness;
  • dry mouth;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • feeling anxious or jittery;
  • drunk feeling; or
  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

18 thoughts on “Are there any negative side effects of the pain killer Fioricet?”

  1. Not really, Fioricet is a weakend version of percocet, the main side-effect is dependance on the drug, however if you develop a fever that lasts for more than 3 days discontinue and see a doctor.

  2. Reported side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, confusion or lightheadedness, shortness of breath, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or decreased appetite, tiredness, leg pain, or muscle weakness, agitation, irritability, nervousness, anxiety or excitability, rash or itching, feeling of intoxication, headache, and constipation.

  3. More common side effects may include:
    Abdominal pain, dizziness, drowsiness, intoxicated feeling, light-headedness, nausea, sedation, shortness of breath, vomiting

    Less common or rare side effects may include:
    Agitation, allergic reactions, constipation, depression, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, earache, exaggerated feeling of well-being, excessive sweating, excessive urination, excitement, fainting, fatigue, fever, flatulence, headache, heartburn, heavy eyelids, high energy, hot spells, itching, leg pain, mental confusion, muscle fatigue, numbness, rapid heartbeat, ringing in the ears, seizure, shaky feeling, skin redness and/or peeling, sluggishness, stuffy nose, tingling

    Mental and physical dependence can occur with the use of barbiturates such as butalbital when these drugs are taken in higher than recommended doses over long periods of time

  4. According to the FDA, the following side effects have been noted:
    “drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and intoxicated feeling.”

    Please look at the 13 page report below, which also provides information on the various sub-components and interactions with other drugs.

  5. Side effects

    Side effects for any drug are difficult to predict, but commonly reported side effects for Fioricet include:

    * Abdominal pain
    * Dizziness
    * Drowsiness
    * Intoxicated feeling
    * Light-headedness
    * Nausea
    * Sedation
    * Addiction


    Dangers and risks

    Fioricet contains acetaminophen, which has been shown to cause liver damage at higher dosages. Care should be excercised when using Fioricet to prevent possible liver damage. Fioricet also contains butalbital, which is an addictive, mind (and behavior) altering barbituate. Fioricet can be habit forming. Fioricet should not be mixed with alcohol, both due to the possibility of exacerbating liver damage in combination with the APAP, and due to increased risk of intoxication, respritory depression, and general sedation in combination with the butalbital.

  6. * drowsiness;
    * dizziness,, confusion or lightheadedness;
    * shortness of breath;
    * dry mouth;
    * nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or decreased appetite;
    * tiredness, leg pain, or muscle weakness;
    * agitation, irritability, nervousness, anxiety or excitability;
    * rash or itching;
    * feeling of intoxication;
    * headache; or
    * constipation.

    If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking acetaminophen/butalbital/caffeine and seek emergency medical attention:

    * an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
    * slow, weak breathing;
    * liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue);
    * blood problems (easy or unusual bleeding or bruising); or
    * low blood sugar (fatigue, increased hunger or thirst, dizziness, or fainting).

  7. Common Fioricet Side Effects
    When you take a new medication, common sense tells you that any new occurrences should be noted. With Fioricet, it is no different. Common side effects can include stomach cramping, bloating, feelings of dizziness, sleepiness, feeling light-headed, or even nausea.

  8. Yes i have read that you will get addicted to Fioricet if you take it regularly i suggest you should tell your doctor to RX to something else i take Imitrex for migraines and its very good and you wont get addicted to it.

  9. Fioricet is butatlbital (a sedative ) along with acetaminophen ( Tylenol ) and caffeine. All medications have side effects- don’t forget that! This one can cause sedation, nausea, vomiting and many other garden-variety side effects. The big thing is that this drug can be habit forming- but under the close care of your doctor, you can use this drug safely. The one thing you need to be carefull of is that this drug contains acetaminophen- which is Tylenol- if you have a fever at some point and take Tylonol make sure you aren’t overdosing yourself. Also, long term daily use of acetaminophen can over time damage your liver. If you cont. to use this drug past 6 mos or so, you should perhaps ask your doctor about stitching to a different drug. Is this taken for Migrain? If so, there are lots of different drugs that can be used. Good luck!

  10. Like all controlled drugs it has a risk of dependency, if your physician per-scribed it twice daily then it is only to be taken when you are having an actual migraine not if you are just having certain symptoms. You can go to and look up all the side effects and risks.

  11. I would look in a totally different direction to get relief.

    There is a one-time treatment Atlasprofilax that usually makes the migraine disappear – of course there is no guarantee.

    I have experienced the amazing effects myself… 🙂

    Now, the treatment is available in California and Europe only, costing approx. 220 dollars. And it’s worth to travel a far way to make the experience!

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