Fiorcet Addiction-Is it possible?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 5/12/2006 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,
I am so happy that I found this website. I am a regular at the Ulcerative Colitis board but felt the need to post about my migraines.
I have major problems with my neck, shoulders, and back of my head due to poor alignment, lack of sleep, poor posture during awake times as well as sleep.
I have been using Fiorcet for years. I have started taking them since I was 15 years old.
I am wondering if it is possible to become addicted to it? For the past three weeks, I wake up with dull headaches and feel the need to take the medication on top of everything else I take for my stomach problem.
Just would like some feedback from others who are taking this medication. Can it cause any long term side effects?
Someone said on the board that the medication masks the pain, which is true. I usually get a "good feeling" after taking it but it returns hours later.
I do go to the chiropractor on a regular basis and we discussed my poor posture, etc. He said having tight muscles in the back of your head as well as neck area can cause tension and migraine headaches. I do not necessarily get the lights, massive nausea, or need to be in a dark and quiet room.
Any feedback? Thanks!
Colazal 750 mg 3x3 daily
6-MP 50 mg (2) daily
Miralax-when needed
Rowasa-when needed
Been diagnosed with UC for 5 years

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 5/13/2006 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Heather, Sorry you have been suffering with the headaches. As far as I know Fiorcet contains a barbiturate which I would think would be addictive! Also do you take Fiorcet with codeine or without as I know from experience that codeine is addictive. I used to take painkillers almost daily that contained codeine which helped my migraines to develop into a daily headache.

Unfortunately despite asking my Doc repeatedly if the amount I was taking was the problem he encouraged me to keep going and not to worry. This caused me a great deal of unnecessary suffering!!!

I would suggest you do some homework of your own and research this drug yourself, and after you have done that I suggest you go and talk to your Doctor about your findings - we are not medics here we can only speak from our own experience.

It makes me very cross that the Docs turn a blind eye to meds like this that are used long-term, we should be informed of all possibilities! I hope this helps, please let us know how you get on, take care Ann.

New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/18/2006 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I have taken fiorcet for a few years, but been very careful not to take it more than a couple of times a week, b/c I have had two neurologists, and a few other docs tell me that it is one of the worst meds for causing rebound headaches if taken more than a few times a week. That's just my experience, and "a few times a week" is subject to interpretation, I guess. Most recently my doc said no more than twice a week. Hope this helps.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 5/24/2006 2:48 AM (GMT -6)   
hello everyone, fiorecet with codiene is great for my headaches/migraines but can cause rebounds too and to me are very very addictive cause they make you higher then morphine or any other hard core pain killer out there bause of the barbituate. and i have taken it enough to cause me withdrawals a few times and it is terrible, makes you vomit like crazy for days, so now im very very careful when i take them.

Myofacial Syndrome 2002; Chronic Pancreatitas 1999; Migraines 2002; Bipolar W/Anxiety-Panic attacks
Methadone, Norco, fioricet W/Codiene, Zomig

New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/25/2006 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I know how it feels to suffer from Migranes. I have suffered from them since I was a young girl, many years I have tried every kind of medication on the market for migranes and nothing worked. I even tried seizure medicine and nothing worked. Finally my doctor put me on Topromax 50mg 2 x day and thank God my headaches have not completly gone away but have calmed down a great bit. As for getting addicted to medications, I beleive you can get addicted to anything. I hope you can find a way to get better and enjoy life. Take care

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 5/27/2006 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I was taking fiorcet for awhile to see if they would help my migraines and the #1 thing my neurologist stressed and I mean STRESSED to me was to never take it more than 2 days per week due to the rebound headache effect it is known to cause. If you are taking this more than 2 days a week and having dull headaches I would think you are probably having rebound headaches caused by the drug itself. The only thing I would suggest is try to not take it and see if the headaches go away. I know it sucks -- having a headache and not taking meds for it!!! I would agree with the other posters that you can get addicted to it due to the barbituate in it. Just be careful. Hope that helps!


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/25/2006 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I suffer with upper back/neck pain, and migraines daily. My Dr lets me have 4 Capsules per day of Fioricet with Codeine or 120 Capsules per month. Sometimes 4 are enough. But sometimes, I need 5, and run short. He will not fill until the 30th day! I do not feel I have a bad problem. The DR says 4 per day are safe. But running out too soon is horrible. But his medication works wonderfully! I was on Fiorinal for years! But, It gave me bad stomach aches due to the aspirin. So, recently I have switched to the Fioricet w.Cod. instead.
I hope every one else is doing well with this medication. I just don't know what else to take. Eeverything else like Vicodin gives me a headache.

Best to everyone.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 10/26/2006 2:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi dirkdavid29,

Welcome to Healing Well. I am glad Fioricet works well for you. Have you tried any of the triptans? If so what have your experiences been. Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

take care


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 10/29/2006 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
You didn't mention if your fioricet was with or without codeine.  It is addictive if it contains codeine.  Codeine is fairly mild narcotic, but still can get you hooked.  If you're taking fioricet and it helps, great.  I took it as part of a cocktail for my migraines for a long time before it no longer worked.  I might as well have swallowed chalk.  It takes much stronger narcs for me to get any relief now.
Good luck.
Leigh Ann cool

"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/12/2007 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   


hey I am posting this for all i have read the threads


My sister in-law is in the hospital IC she had migrains and took fiorcet from her pri care he must have stopped it so we just found out she was buying on line from all these companys some are calling he cell phone harssing her husband as she is lying there in a psycosis and has lost over 30 lbs and is detoxing from these pills now they may or may not be the real drugs we may never know but know this they are addicting and could get any one so think twice and dont buy online no doctor checks on you and they just push drugs online just google fiorcet and you can get any pain pill or anything you want I cant understand how this is possible

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 9/13/2007 9:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear mspeterson3k,

First of all, let me welcome you to our happy little migraine forum.

Please, for the sake of all our members, could you please use punctuation? You did not have a comma or period in your entire post, making it practically impossible to read. We would appreciate it.

Leigh Ann
Basic info:
  • On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ 
  • Divorced, 42, no children
  • Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Gallbladder Removed (followed by a week in the hospital for a Blood Clot), Kidney Stone Removed, Broken Ankle, Major Dental work(four molars pulled, multiple cavities, root canals) 
  • Current Meds: Lexapro, Klonopin, Wellbutrin, Stadol Nasal Spray, Lortab, Trazadone, Buspar, Nexium, Skelaxin, Tramadol, Phenergan, Chantix PROHIBITED FROM ALL NSAIDS
  • Current Problem: Internal Bleeding, possible ulcer in location of Gastric Bypass
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/13/2007 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All, I sure will I was in a hurry and I was rambleing on. I will do better next time. Thanks Mark

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 9/17/2007 2:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm Soo sorry about your sister-in-law and thanks for the warning. We all need a wake up call that sometimes even these 'minor' drugs can reak havock on our bodies.
and don't worry about puncuation!!
But just to add my 2 cents, not only is it addictive, but really can cause rebounds. I will say that fioricet w/ codiene does help, you just have to be carefull.
Rebounds are NO fun to be a part of, and Sooo many of us are experiencing just that!!
I wish you all the best,
DX-Migraines:PCOS(should have seen this list before!!)
Meds; imitrex inj, stadol ns PRN severe h/a
 ProzAC 40mg, Klonopin 1mg BID , Ambien 10mg
PRN, Pherergan, Actiq 600mcg(fentanyl suckers) for migraine breakthrough pain
 Doing engergy medicine!!!!
May God give you a reason to smile today, an extra reason to laugh, and bring joy to your soul.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/16/2008 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I have just become a member here, and I just happened to be looking up fiorcet, which my doctor gives me often in VERY restrictive amounts for my stress headaches.  I am 99% sure I do not have migraines.  None of those medications for migraines have worked, plus my younger sister suffered tremendously over the years with migraines, and I do not have those kinds of symptoms.  But none the less, my stress headaches make me almost non-functional at my job.  That's when I either call or go see my doctor, and he gives me 20 which I can take, I think, one every four hours or six hours.  However, I do worry about the addiction because they do have codeine in them.  But, do you think if he is careful about administering these, plus I go and see him every 3 months, anyway, for him to either to do blood work or just check me on my other 2 meds that I have taken for some time now, that I will be okay on this?

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/22/2008 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Fioricet have never helped my migraines at all, so I've never taken them (other than initially trying them and being totally disappointed because they didn't relieve my pain). What surprised me was that every doc I went to offered them-- darned near PUSHED them, on me. The same with the triptans (which I can't take-- not unless I have an epi-pen nearby, my throat/chest closes up until I can't breathe).

For my mother, who also suffers from migraines, for years they worked very well. They never made her (or me) feel high. Over time, they began to lose their effect. As more time passed, her headaches became everyday migraines, in part from the rebound from the fioricet (she was taking 2 or 3 per day). She's miserable. :( She's now (finally!!) seeing a neurologist and has completely stopped taking the fioricet. She feels horrible, and has had a splitting migraine for nearly 3 weeks now. If it wasn't for the anti-emetic meds (and her stubbornness) she'd be in the ER. She was given prednisone, phenobarb (risk of seizures is real, in part because she's been on fioricet for decades), compazine, thorazine and phenergan (I'm sure I forgot one in there somewhere). The doc was hopeful that in 4 weeks she'd start to feel better. If not, then unfortunately she may have what's called "transformed migraine". I'm hoping that soon she starts to feel better. She's been trying so hard. I know she was terrified of trying this. I just hope it works out for her.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/27/2008 6:16 PM (GMT -6)   
My mother who is 49 years old has suffered migraines for atleast 7 years. She is currently in the hospital to detox from fiorcet. We just found out she has become addicted to this prescription drug last week when she was so dizzy she fell. She became addicted to what the doctor prescribed her. She didn't go and get the prescription on her own. This is what her doctor of a couple years is giving her prescriptions for. Doctors don't always make you healthy, because of this my mother is suffering more because now she is addicted to a med that was supposed to be helping her with her migraines. Not only did it not help with her migraines but she seemed to have a headache everyday! I advise anyone on this med to just use as needed because it is addictive. My mother isn't functioning at all. It seems doctors just like to overmedicate and not get to the solution of trying to eliminate or make the headaches less often. This isnt the first time I have been through this with my mother about 5 years ago it was demerol pain shots..given to her right in the Emergency room..duh!!! Stupid doctors!!! If someone is in pain they just want the pain to stop but doctors should know better than getting someone addicted to painkillers! Its very frustrating. I'm 30 and have started to suffer from migraines just like my mother but I deal with mine in a different way unlike everything my mom has been through. I pretty much know at this point that most meds aren't going to help me. What I try to do is live a healthy lifestyle.....LOTS OF WATER, Excercise (helps relieve stress, tension), eating healthy and also knw what your triggers are for headaches and avoid them. My mothers triggers are chocolate and red wine!! Hope this helps anyone looking for another point of view :-)

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/27/2008 3:45 AM (GMT -6)   

A couple of years before I was into Fiorcet. According to my Doctor Fiorcet has an addictive agent called butalbatol. It is a sedative and works a lot like Xanax. The pain from it are not as bad as coming off narcotics Drug abuse but it can be bad. My worst pain was anxiety. And it looks like I was going to get panic and run away as fast as I can. Panic disorder with agoraphobia or freak out but the pain were short lived and in about a week i was over it... hope this helps. good luck you'll get over it.


Looking to perform an intervention on a loved one who is abusing drugs or alcohol? This site can definitely help.

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/28/2008 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
With my severe headaches/seizures, I take Fiorcet and it really helps me. I don't take more then what my Dr. recommends, because it can cause an addiction. I take it three times a day, but I space them out. Just be careful.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/9/2008 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   

Fioricet is on the DEA's Narcotics Drug Scheduling list - it is Schedule III - which means it is a Controlled Substance...these kinds of medications are usually addictive. I take it without the Codeine and take usually 2 a day, almost every day and do not get rebound headaches. I also take it with 15mg of extended release Morphine -one seems to help the other work more effectively, whether I'm taking it for chronic pain on the left side of my body or for a headache.

Also (unrelated but a word of advice), be sure if you take it anywhere with you, it is in its orginial prescription bottle. Even though it can all be worked out and proven that you have a prescription, the police WILL arrest you in the meantime for not having it in the right bottle...this is from my former husband, who has been in law enforcement for over 15 years. It's a pain (no pun intended!), especially if you have several different RX's, but it would be more of a pain to get put in jail for it!

I hope your headaches are under control. Good luck to you!

TBI- vet
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/19/2008 3:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear friends- and I mean that to those who suffer pain sincerely,

My headaches came to a severe peak while I was in Iraq for my second combat tour... during my down time between missions- particularly if I'd been exposed to explosions I would accept medication so long as the doctor said it would wear off in time for me to return to duty and not miss a mission. I had been prescribed Fiorcet before.
Exposure to hyper-pressurized waves from explosions of road side bombs caused concussions (traumatic brain injury) and damaged nerves in my neck were the result of being tossed around and out of vehicles and smacking my head on walls and everything else in my path. Irritated nerves and tense muscles led to head aches... neutralize the latter of the equation and the former never happens. Is it addictive? Yes. Have I ever escalated the dose frequency? Yes. Do I believe that it is a medically warranted prescription? Yes.
I think the bottom line for me is asking the question "what is effective?"- over and over and over until I figure out what my body responds to... and in spite of what I might say of the doctors it IS my responsibility to "self report" symptoms. They've just recently acknowledged T.B.I. as the trademark wound of this war- which means, I mean, how many of us were and are walking wounded without knowing it? Because it is the nature of my (now ex-) profession to accept pain and say, "I'm good to go..." And, WHAT is effective can always be improved on... had I been more proactive in my research and had more resources over-seas I'd have not had to argue to receive adequate medicinal treatment.
Also, with the issue of pain- that is a disease in itself as potent, if not more potent than addiction. Pain is a cancer; pain only spreads and develops inside our bodies... and this leads to dread and worry and the thought of "maybe if I take this all the time I can prevent the head-aches altogether" for me, anyway.
Fiorcet is one of the few salvation from head aches for me...
I found their (the doctors') reasoning for other medications to be highly suspicious... for instance Neurontin, it was discovered in a survey of patients with seizure disorder AND migraine headaches that their headaches lessened or disappeared. However, the medical community will not comment officially on whether or not the seizure disorder and relief thereof had anything to do with the relief of the head aches.
Fiorcet is a controlled substance, they don't understand "closed" TBI headaches and they're not going to risk their precious license on prescribing me medicine. To which I say they are cowards and know nothing of risk... it is one doctor who is a psychiatrist who prescribes ALL of my medication because I do not like talking to other doctors and we have a 4 year history built on trust.
Discover your own body... pain and the relief thereof is a relative issue and not objective. One doctor would rather prescribe Stadol or Demerol... seriously? Seriously? This is the expert opinion? No. We are the experts of our own bodies and the medical community says "take an active role in your care..." Please do it. Find your path, deviate when possible to explore without risking ineffective relief- but take initiative and figure it out is what I've learned.
Also, having "too many cooks in the kitchen" is a bad thing... one doctor, for me.

Thanks for reading, I'm interested in opinions

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/14/2008 6:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I have relied on Fioricet for many years and herald it as being a miracle drug for my headaches. My headaches begin the the hours before waking and seem to be related to tension in my neck around the base of my head. Sometimes if I wake up unexpectedly I have stiffness which leads to a headache. If I take a Fioricet as soon as I feel one coming on, it generally stops it from turning into a full-fledged headache. They usually come in clusters and can last a few days. Then I'll be pain free for a week or so until they reoccur. I love to wake up and not have to take anything.

I've been dealing with morning headaches since I can remember. I'm super cautious when it comes to Fioricet since I know that it can be addictive. Generally I cut the pill in half and take one half to see it my headache goes away. If it does, I feel better for not having had to take a full tablet. I wish there were a way to get to the source of my headaches so I'd never have to take Fiorcet again. In the meantime, I'm grateful it's been around and that I've not had any problems with dependence. Lastly, I don't understand the rebound concept. Can someone explain it?


Post Edited (fred53) : 12/18/2008 1:24:56 AM (GMT-7)

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/16/2008 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
........Just my input
I was put on Fiorinal ( which is just the same but with aspirin) 1/4's at 12 yrs old
THat is Fiorianal 1/4 of codiene

I became so addicted it was just ridiculous
The last time I took them I actually fell to the ground ( I was taking 5 6 at a time ) I had totally lost all feelings in my legs..........

Another thing I too found was the rebound headaches you get from them ..........

I have NOT touched a fiorianl now for 20 yrs and I never will
I was not the same
I was moody and was not in control.......THATS me .....and amount........
I would have been dead no other way ........
My doc I have had for 10 yrs now DOES NOT RX them and never will.........

Like I said just a lil if my prob ( addiction) with them


** yes Fioranal......Fioracet.........are barbituates


ARe you taking the ones with Codeine ( sp )

 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

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Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 12/16/2008 9:58:31 AM (GMT-7)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/20/2008 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   

Fioricet is a combo of Butalbital, Acetaminophen, and Caffeine Tablets. Barbiturates have generally been replaced by benzodiazepines.

First introduced for medical use in the early 1900’s, barbiturates addictions have plagued hundreds of thousands of individuals, including celebrities like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix and Judy Garland.

Would I use this medication if it worked for me..........yes under the direct supervision of a physician and only as prescribed.

I wish you the best in all things.



Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/27/2008 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I found this drug to be very addictive and caused rebound migraines.  I started having migraines with premenopause.  The doctors put me on every pill they could think.  What works best for me is plain Excedrin, Imitrex, and Ginger Ale.  And sleep.  Every time I get desperate and go on fiorcet, I regret it.  What did work for me was Topamax.  However, it thinned my bones and gave me depression.  So I had to stop taking Topamax.  The migraines are now back. 

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/19/2012 11:30 PM (GMT -6)   
This medication is very addictive for some people and nobody knows why. May be it is a combination of other meds an individual is taking, or may be its personality. Anyway, I have been on Fioreset for about 20 years now and just can't get out of it. I eat up way more than my maximum daily dosage and just can't wait to get another bottle. It feels that society does not treat you like a drug addict if your abuse prescription drugs vs. street drugs. Please be mindfull that this medication can cost a job; if you subject to pre-employment drug testing and/or on the job testing, this medication will come up. You will be required to supply Doctor's statement that he is prescribing this med to you. However, with certain occupations (driving, machine operator, nurse) employer may request for the person to be off the job. They have to give another position with same compensation, but there is always a way to let people go
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