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Fioricet and Pregnancy – Precautions and care

Fioricet is known to be a prescription medicine used to treat tension headaches.

Well, if you are pregnant and on Fioricet, then there are certain precautions you need to take and you should know about the side effects of Fioricet during pregnancy. You are going through an important phase of your life, when you are carrying a new life inside you.

You need to make sure that usage of Fioricet doesn’t harm your unborn baby. Let us learn about the precautions, dosage and care that you need to know while using Fioricet during pregnancy.

Well, if you are using Fioricet during your pregnancy, your doctor should not only consider the benefits of using the drug for you, but also weigh the possible risks to your unborn baby.

You should talk to your doctor as whether you should stop taking drug or need to adjust dose. It is still not known whether acetaminophen, caffeine and butalbital can cause harm to the fetus when recommended to a pregnant women or whether it can affect a woman’s reproduction capacity.

Some studies say that birth defects were observed due to exposure of butalbital during the first three months of pregnancy. Similarly consumption of caffeine during pregnancy has not shown any risks, but high doses of caffeine per day can lead to spontaneous abortion. So if you are pregnant try to minimize the intake of caffeine to avoid risks.

Fioricet consists of caffeine and the risks associated with its consumption in high dosages are miscarriage and poor growth of fetus. Looking at the formulation of Fioricet which consists of caffeine, Acetaminophen and butalbital, acetaminophen is used as antipyretic throughout the pregnancy. Acetaminophen is considered to be safe in pregnancy when taken for short durations in right dosage. Some studies say that use of acetaminophen in pregnant women can reduce the prostacyclin production.

Since there are inadequate studies available on risks of Fioricet during pregnancy, you can continue using Fioricet during your pregnancy if the benefit is greater than the possible risk to your unborn baby. It is better to speak to your doctor for the right dosage of Fioricet in pregnancy.

Fioricet should be used by pregnant women only when needed. Using it for a long term in high doses can cause harm to your unborn child as it can pre-pone your delivery date. Talk to your doctor to know the risks as well as the benefits.

There are some symptoms that you might experience because of pregnancy like headache, nausea, vomiting etc., if you feel the symptoms are severe, you can speak to your doctor immediately. During pregnancy you need to be extra careful  about the dose of Fioricet and your doctor can help you adjust the dose. Regular check-ups and monitoring unusual symptoms can help you stay away from risks. The drug has its benefits too, so trust your doctor and follow his instructions. Women using Fioricet also deliver healthy babies, so do not panic and take the right dose of Fioricet.

Acetaminophen / butalbital / caffeine Breastfeeding Warnings

Acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine are excreted into human milk in small concentrations. The significance of the effects on nursing infants has not been reported, but due to the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, other agents may be preferred.

A decision should be made to discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Excreted into human milk: Yes (acetaminophen); Yes (barbiturates); Yes (caffeine)

Acetaminophen / butalbital / caffeine Pregnancy Warnings

US FDA pregnancy category: C

Comment: Monitor for barbiturate withdrawal in neonates

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted on this combination product. Epidemiologic data for acetaminophen, including a population based case-control study from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (n= 11,610) and data from 26,424 live singleton births have shown no increased risk of major birth defects in children with first trimester prenatal exposure. In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration released results of their evaluation on published research studies looking at mothers who took acetaminophen (either over the counter or as a prescription product) at any time during their pregnancy and the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) in their babies. They found all studies reviewed had potential limitations in their designs that prevented drawing reliable conclusions. Barbiturates have been reported to readily cross the placental barrier. A 2-day old infant whose mother had taken a butalbital-containing product during the last two months of pregnancy experienced withdrawal seizures; butalbital was found in the infant’s serum. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy.

US FDA pregnancy category C: Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

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