If you have ever experienced a migraine, you know the level of misery it can bring. Migraines go well beyond the pain or pressure of a typical headache, and they’re often accompanied by symptoms that can range to uncomfortable to scary. When you have a migraine doctors believe it’s something different from just a bad headache. Instead of being related to blood vessels, doctors believe that a lot of what causes migraines has to do with neurological things like brain chemicals.
Fioricet is a combination of three ingredients: the pain reliever acetaminophen; butalbital, a barbiturate; and caffeine, a stimulant.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Fioricet in 1984. Novartis Pharmaceuticals was the original manufacturer. In 2003, Watson Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to Fioricet (Watson is now known as Actavis).
Fioricet is currently available from many manufacturers as a generic.
The original formulation of Fioricet included 50 milligrams (mg) of butalbital, 40 mg of caffeine, and 325 mg of acetaminophen.
However, in 2011 the FDA asked makers of prescription combination drugs with acetaminophen to limit the amount of that drug to no more than 325 mg in each tablet by 2014. This action was taken to protect consumers from severe liver damage, a risk linked with taking too much acetaminophen.
Today Fioricet includes 320 mg of acetaminophen, though some versions of the product sold online still have 325 mg.
With that being said, people who suffer from migraines often search for treatments that will work for them, and they also tend to have to go through several different medications before they get to one that will work for them.
One medication people sometimes consider is Fioricet, but doctors warn this should be a last resort for migraines, and there’s some debate over whether or not it works at all for migraine sufferers.