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 is used to treat tension headaches that are caused by muscle contractions. Fioricet may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
The active ingredients in Fioricet are:
- Acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol)
Acetaminophen is a pain reliever. It starts working in less than an hour to reduce headache pain. Caffeine is also useful for fighting a headache, and it increases the effectiveness of acetaminophen. Butalbital is a barbiturate, which is a sedating or relaxing type of medication. The butalbital in Fioricet helps reduce anxiety and cuts down on the restlessness caused by the caffeine.
Is Fioricet effective for migraines?
Sometimes. There is very little scientific research to show Fioricet can stop a migraine. It is intended to be used for tension-type (muscle tension) headaches, which are different from migraines.
There is good research to show acetaminophen is effective at stopping migraines. Unfortunately, the dose of acetaminophen that works best to stop a migraine is lower than the dose in Fioricet.
Fioricet for Nursing Mom
Acetaminophen Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Effects in Breastfed Infants
A maculopapular rash on the upper trunk and face of a 2-month-old infant was probably caused by acetaminophen in breastmilk. The rash occurred after 2 days of therapy in the mother at a dose of 1 gram at bedtime. It subsided when the drug was discontinued and recurred 2 weeks later after another acetaminophen dose of 1 gram was taken by the mother.
Two papers report 14 women who breastfed after taking acetaminophen or its prodrug phenacetin with no adverse effects to their infants.
In a telephone follow-up study, mothers reported no side effects among 43 infants exposed to acetaminophen in breastmilk.
Two clinicians speculated that breastmilk exposure to acetaminophen during breastfeeding might be a risk factor for asthma and wheezing in the breastfed infants based on their personal observations. However, these observations were uncontrolled and cannot be considered to be valid proof of an association.