Fioricet contains acetaminophen, which while it is available over-the-counter in medicines like Tylenol, can cause liver toxicity when high amounts are taken.
Fioricet is a prescription medication that’s used to treat various types of headaches including migraines in some cases.
The following are instructions for the use of Fioricet, and a Fioricet dosage guide.
Foriciet usually contains a set amount of the three primary ingredients, which are butalbital, caffeine, and acetaminophen. Originally the drug formulation included 50 mg of butalbital, 40 mg of caffeine, and 325 mg of acetaminophen. In 2011, however, the FDA made a change to drug formulations containing acetaminophen.
Tablets were required to be reformulated to contain no more than 325 mg of acetaminophen in order to protect people from liver damage.
So, the current formulation of Fioricet includes 50 mg of butalbital, 40 mg of caffeine and 320 mg of acetaminophen.
Fioricet contains three different drugs. Each drug is estimated to stay in your body for a different amount of time.
- Acetaminophen is eliminated after about 6 to 15 hours
- Caffeine is eliminated after about 15 hours
- Butalbital is eliminated after about 7 days
Fioricet Dosage Instructions
First and foremost before looking at the specific Fioricet dosage guidelines, it’s important for people to realize that following these guidelines and also their doctor’s instructions with this medicine are incredibly important. Fioricet contains acetaminophen, which while it is available over-the-counter in medicines like Tylenol, can cause liver toxicity when high amounts are taken.
Fioricet contains a black box warning because of the relationships between acetaminophen and acute liver failure. There have been users of not only Fioricet but other medicines containing acetaminophen that have required a liver transplant or have died as a result of the ingredient.
Usually, acetaminophen becomes problematic or fatal at doses of 4,000 mg or more a day. Some of the people most at risk for liver problems related to Fioricet and acetaminophen include people who have existing liver disease, take more than one medicine with acetaminophen in it at a time, or who drink alcohol while using it.
Also relevant to Fioricet dosage instructions is the butalbital ingredient this medicine contains. This ingredient is a barbiturate, and it may be habit-forming. It’s also a central nervous system depressant, so taking too much can result in respiratory depression and overdose.
With that being said, the recommended Fioricet dosage for most adults is to take one to two tablets every four hours as needed for pain, and no more than six tablets should be taken a day. Also part of the Fioricet dosage instructions is the fact that this drug shouldn’t be used long term because of the potential for dependence and abuse.
If someone doesn’t follow the Fioricet dosage instructions, they’re more likely to become ill or overdose from the toxicity of the acetaminophen and the butalbital, rather than the caffeine. Signs you may have overdosed on Fioricet include confusion or extreme drowsiness.
If you miss a dosage of Fioricet, the medicine’s instructions advise to take it when you remember, unless it’s close to the time for your next dosage. Doubling up on dosages is dangerous and can be deadly.
Since a Fioricet dosage contains acetaminophen, you should be cautious as mentioned above, and make sure that you’re not combining multiple medicines with acetaminophen. Some of the signs of liver damage include nausea or vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eyes and dark-colored urine. Extreme stomach or abdominal pain can also be a sign of liver damage, as can extreme fatigue.
Older adults may have different Fioricet dosage instructions, and doctors will usually start older patients out at the lowest possible Fioricet dosage. This is because they are at a higher risk of heart, kidney and liver conditions, and their kidney functionality may be reduced so it could be easier for the drug to build up in their system and cause damage or contribute to an overdose.
People should never try to achieve a Fioricet high or take this drug in any way other than how their doctor prescribes it to them because of the risks this can bring.
Also important when looking at the Fioricet dosage information are the potential interactions. Fioricet may interact with MAOIs, antidepressants, some tranquilizers and sedative-hypnotics, so speak with your doctor if you take any of these. You should also tell your doctor about any over-the-counter drugs you take, or herbal remedies and nutritional supplements.