Side Effects of Fioricet

Before using Fioricet, let your physician know if you have previous allergic reactions to the three key ingredients of this drug, namely butalbital, caffeine or acetaminophen.

Also, inform your doctor if you have the following: kidney disease, stomach ulcer, constipation, seizures, past brain injuries, severe heart disease, liver disease, hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea, difficulty urinating because of an enlarged prostate, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an overactive thyroid, previous experience with a skin rash after taking other kinds of medication, suicidal thoughts or a previous history of depression or other mental illness, or if you already take a drug to prevent blood clots.

Your doctor may order regular laboratory testing to monitor this drug's effect on your body, if you have a history of liver or kidney problems

Several side effects are reported by people taking Fioricet, including shortness of breath, vomiting, dizziness, muscle fatigue or leg pain, tingling feelings, drowsiness, nausea, bloating or feelings of gassiness, swollen and painful glands, increased need to urinate, a feeling of intoxication, light-headedness, difficulty sleeping, abdominal pain and an overall feeling of being sedated.

Let your physician know immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: seizures, an irregular or fast heartbeat, unusual bruises, bleeding that is slow to stop, unusual weakness, fainting or mood swings. If you experience bouts of dizziness, then getting up slowly from a sitting to a standing position may help.

If you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as itching; swelling of the face, throat or tongue; trouble breathing; severe dizziness; hives or a rash, get immediate medical attention. Also, contact your physician or an emergency room immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while taking Fioricet: painful or difficult urination, bloody urine, painful white spots or sores in your mouth, hallucinations, crusty or bleeding sores on your lips, red or scaly skin, fever, vomiting blood, sudden decrease in amounts of urine passed, restlessness, hives, unusual feelings of excitement, sore throat, disagreeable breath odor, feelings of illness reminiscent of the flu, or blue or pale lips or skin.

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Patients who are sensitive to acetaminophen may experience a rash or blistering that spreads across the skin and causes the skin to peel, allergic reactions or a low count of blood cells. Also, the recommended maximum amount of acetaminophen for adults is 4,000 milligrams, or 4 grams, per day.

Excessive acetaminophen use can cause liver problems. Check all other prescription or over the counter medications you may be taking to make sure these do not also contain acetaminophen, adding to your overall daily consumption of this Fioricet component. Side effects of caffeine can include increased blood sugar, irritability, shaking or tremors, a rapid heart rate or addiction to caffeine.

Another rare side effect of taking Fioricet is Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which is a life threatening disease in which the top layer of skin, called the epidermis, detaches from the dermis, which is the lower layer of skin, usually all over the body. The disease can also affect the body's mucous membranes. The usual cause for Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare but severe reaction to certain medications.

If you experience the following symptoms while taking Fioricet, seek medical assistance immediately: extreme fatigue, dark-colored urine, persistant nausea or vomiting, stools that are light-colored, severe stomach or abdominal pain or yellowing of the eyes or skin (known as jaundice). These symptoms may be an indication of liver damage.

When used for treating migraines over a long period or in large doses, Fioricet can lead to rebound headaches, which means the patient experiences headaches much more frequently, and of a much more painful nature.

Tell your physician if you have a history of serious breathing problems, like emphysema or bouts of pneumonia, if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, if you drink more than three glasses of alcohol per day, or if you suffer from mood or mental disorders. Also, let your physician know if anyone in your family has a history of substance abuse.

Let your physician know in advance if you are taking muscle relaxants, antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine, the ingredient found in Benadryl), over the counter cold or cough medicines, anti-seizure drugs (carbamazepine, for example), sleep aids or anti-anxiety medications (such as diazepam, zolpidem or alprazolam), narcotic pain medications (such as codeine), psychiatric medicines (such as trazodone, risperidone or amitriptyline), or alcohol.

Do not take Fioricet if you have used MAO inhibitors (such as linezolid, methylene blue, isocarboxazid, rasagiline, phenelzine, selegiline, furazolidone, moclobemide and tranylcypromine) within the previous 14 days, because you may experience a severe medication interaction that may even cause death.

Patients who take birth control should be aware that Fioricet can decrease effectiveness of any hormonal birth control, including the patch, pills or ring, and use of this drug may lead to pregnancy. Patients taking anti-seizure medication, adenosine, or beta agonists, such as albuterol, should inform their physician before taking Fioricet, because of drug interaction.

Fioricet interacts with medications that affect liver enzymes, such as methoxyflurane, isoniazid, erythromycin, phenothiazines (for example, chlorpromazine), cimetidine, lithium, disulfiram, fluvoxamine and valproic acid, so inform your doctor if you are currently taking any of these drugs.

Because it can affect your liver enzymes, Fioricet can actually speed up the removal of certain drugs from the human body, such as doxycycline (a variety of tetracycline antibiotic), cyclosporine ( used with organ transplants), estrogen (a female hormone), blood thinners (like the drug warfarin), theophylline (used for asthma treatments), certain beta blockers (like metoprolol), corticosteroids (such as the drug prednisone), felodipine (which is a calcium-channel blocker), isoniazid, quinidine (a drug used for irregular heart rhythms), and the antibiotic metronidazole. Inform your doctor if you are taking these medications.

Other drugs that you should inform your healthcare professional that you are taking include triazolam, adinazolam, lixisenatide, thiopental, alfentanil, medazepam, temazepam, meperidine, sufentanil, amobarbital, prednisone, mephenesin, sodium oxybate, anileridine, mephobarbital, secobarbital, anisindione, meprobamate, remifentanil, aprobarbital, metaxalone, quazepam, bromazepam, methocarbamol, propoxyphene, brotizolam, methohexital, primidone, butabarbital, midazolam, prazepam, ospemifene, carisoprodol, morphine, pixantrone, acenocoumarol, chloral hydrate, morphine sulfate liposome, piperaquine, chlordiazepoxide, nifedipine, phenprocoumon, chlorzoxazone, nitrazepam, phenobarbital, clobazam, imipramine, nordazepam, phenindione, clonazepam, oxycodone, phenytoin, lormetazepam, clorazepate, oxymorphone, lorazepam, clozapine, levorphanol, cobicistat, fentanyl, ketazolam, codeine, ivabradine, cannabis, dantrolene, imatinib, hydromorphone, fosphenytoin, dicumarol, hydrocodone, doxorubicin, halazepam, doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome, flurazepam, elvitegravir, flunitrazepam, estazolam, zidovudine, fentanyl and ethchlorvynol.

Consult a doctor before taking Fioricet if you are pregnant, you may become pregnant or you are breastfeeding. Fioricet should be used during a pregnancy only when deemed absolutely necessary. If taken in large doses or for extended periods of time near the delivery date, possible harm can occur to the unborn baby. Babies born to mothers who take Fioricet for long periods of time during pregnancy can experience withdrawal symptoms, including vomiting, seizures, irritability, diarrhea or excessive and abnormal crying. Fioricet can pass to an infant through breast milk, so consult with your doctor before breastfeeding, if you take this medication.

Patients with porphyria should not take Fioricet, nor should people who take the narcolepsy drug, sodium oxylate. Do not drink alcohol while taking Fioricet. Since this drug can interfere with some laboratory or medical tests, inform medical personnel in advance that you use Fioricet. Some tests that use dipyridamole (such as Persantine) to measure how well blood is flowing through the heart can be affected by the caffeine in Fioricet.

Do not take Fioricet for eight to 12 hours before such tests. Other medical tests can be affected by the presence of butalbital or acetaminophen. For example, acetaminophen may falsely cause the test for urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid to read positive. Also, people who use the home blood glucose testing systems, Dextrostix and Chemstrip bG, and who also take Fioricet, may find their blood glucose levels read as falsely decreasing.

Before having surgery or dental work done, inform your physician or dentist that you take this drug, because serious side effects can occur if the wrong medications are unknowingly mixed together.

An overdose can occur with this medication. Symptoms of a Fioricet overdose include excessive sweating, loss of appetite, extreme dizziness, feelings of confusion, slow breathing, weakness, extreme drowsiness, or vomiting or nausea that won't go away. If you suspect an overdose, call your local emergency room or poison control center immediately.

In the United States, you can contact poison control at 1-800-222-1222. In Canada, call the poison control center for your province.

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