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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Fioricet

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 08/5/2000]
Question: I used to take Fioricet for my headaches for about 3 years. I recently had to switch doctors, and he immediately took me off Fioricet and gave me Midrin. He said that the fioricet was addictive. I have not experienced any withdrawal symptoms. Is this information correct? Is the Midrin safer?

Answer: In terms of addiction yes. But, if you only take it occasionally Fioricet has less addiction potential than most "pure" narcotics.

Fioricet & Pregnancy Concerns
Question: I recently found out I am about 4 weeks pregnant. A week out of this time I was taking Fiorocet for Miagranes. The rebound headaches were so bad I took about 8 a day for a week. I am so worried I have harmed the baby, please let me know!

Answer: Fioricet is a combination of butalbitol,acetaminophen and caffeine. None of these would be expected to have much effect on a fetus at any stage.

Fioricet & Pregnancy
Question: I have been addicted to Fioricet for my migraine headaches for around a year now. I go off it for a break, but the breaks last only a few weeks before I start taking the Fioricet again. I now wish to have my second child and want off all meds. What I am concerned about is the possible damage from the Fioricet on my body and the fetus. Have I damaged my liver and will I endanger a child if I get pregnant after all the abuse my body has taken over the year plus?

Answer: Contact a drug rehab specialist in your community, most have one. You'll need a physical and liver function tests, does your doctor know of this problem maybe he/she can help.

Fioricet & Pregnancy
Question: I was looking for information on taking Fioricet while pregnant. I'm currently 17 weeks pregnant, and suffering from some pretty severe migraines. I looked up some info on Tylenol with Codeine and read that it can cause some side effects for both me and the baby. Any info on Fioricet (Furinol)?

Answer: Fioricet is a combination drug containing butalbital, acetaminophen and caffeine. It is mainly used for pain control and commonly for migraine headache relief. Specific drug studies on this combination have not been performed; however, acetaminophen and caffeine appear relatively safe-in normal dosages. The question then revolves around butalbital which is a intermediate acting barbiturate. Most physicians consider barbiturate safe during pregnancy. There have been reports of babies having withdrawal seizures after delivery so this drug clearly crosses to the fetus. In general, less drugs while pregnant are better.
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