Can you get addicted to Fioricet?
Yes. Fioricet is highly addictive.
Although this prescription drug has important, legitimate uses, Fioricet also has the potential for abuse because of the strong barbiturate medication it contains. What exactly is in Fioricet? What does Fioricet addiction look like? What should you do if you are addicted? We ask and respond to these questions and more here. Plus, we invite your questions and comments about Fioricet at the bottom.
Fioricet chemistry and use
Fioricet is a medication containing acetaminophen, caffeine, and butalbital, a short-acting barbiturate. Available in tablet form, Fioricet is a prescription drug intended to treat tension headaches. There is also a version of Fioricet which contains codeine, a narcotic painkiller that is related to morphine.
What does Fioricet do in the body?
Each component of Fioricet serves a different purpose.
Acetaminophen – The acetaminophen contained in Fioricet is a mild painkiller (the active ingredient in Tylenol) which helps reduce the pain of headaches.
Butalbital – The butalbital in Fioricet is what gives the medication its addictive potential. Butalbital is a central nervous system depressant which can cause drowsiness and impair mental and physical abilities.
Caffeine – Caffeine is, of course, a very mild stimulant which can sometimes help ease headaches and increase alertness.
Codeine – Fioricet with codeine can be more addictive than the regular variety as it contains the addictive narcotic, codeine, as well as butalbital. With added codeine, you can even get addicted to NyQuil.
How do you get addicted to Fioricet?
Doctors need to be careful when prescribing Fioricet to patients for their headaches because of its habit-forming potential. People taking Fioricet for headaches may get addicted to Fioricet if they take the medication in larger doses, more frequently, or for longer periods than it is prescribed.
What does it mean to be addicted to Fioricet?
Taking high doses of Fioricet can cause you to build a tolerance to the medication, leading to a need for greater and greater amounts of the drug to achieve the same effect. Eventually, someone can build both a physical and psychological dependence on the medication. Withdrawal occurs when you stop taking Fioricet and includes symptoms such as convulsions and delirium. The average barbiturate addict takes about 1500mg a day.
How to avoid Fioricet addiction
The best way to avoid becoming addicted to Fioricet is to only take the medication as prescribed. If you start to notice that Fioricet is getting less effective at treating your headaches, talk to your doctor about alternative options. Simply taking more than prescribed is the first step on the road to addiction, and can have serious health consequences due to the possibility of overdosing on acetaminophen.
Are you addicted to Fioricet?
If you think that you are addicted to Fioricet, there is help available. Talk to your doctor about slowly weaning yourself from the medication. Medical supervision is recommended when you stop taking Fioricet. Because of the severity of withdrawal symptoms, it can be better to gradually reduce the dose until you can safely stop taking the drug. If you have developed a Fioricet addiction and you abruptly stop taking the drug, you may experience major withdrawal symptoms for up to five days, and less intense symptoms for up to 15 days.
Questions about Fioricet addiction
Do you have a question about using Fioricet? Please let us know. We try our best to respond to all questions personally and promptly. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to an organization that does.