Fiorcet-am i addicted?

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iluvsunflowers15
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 7/14/2007 5:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I am a regular on the Ulcerative Colitis board but I wanted to ask you all for your input. For almost a year, I have been taking Fiorcet on a regular basis. I usually take anywhere from one to four pills a day for my headaches. I get different types of headaches. They could be migraines, cluster headaches, or tension headaches. I find that some days the medication works better than others. The main problem I'm having is when I wake up. When I wake up, I have a horrible headache  that makes me feel like I have a hangover. I usually take the fiorcet, and it goes away. A few hours later, the pain comes back. So, my question is: am i addicted? I want to ween myself off the med but don't want to deal with the pain. Any suggestions?
 
Heather
Colazal 750 mg 3x3 daily
6-MP 50 mg (2) daily
Miralax-when needed
Rowasa-when needed
Been diagnosed with UC for 5 years


Jana042
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/14/2007 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Addicted, no. Dependent, yes =(

I really feel for you. I've been there. I was using fioricet every day for years. It really made the head pain worse in the end, although it got me through the days. I was already in constant pain from a bout of clusters mixed with my regular migraines before I started on the fioricet so I'm not so sure it was a good idea to ever go on the stuff in the first place. Did you have the daily pain before the fioricet? Even if you did, you are probably in a rebound cycle on top of the migraines, tension, and clusters and that's going to be tough to get through, but it was really worth it for me when I got out of it.

I've been fioricet free for about 4 months now and loving it. The pain is still there, but it's much, much lower than it was when I was on the fioricet ironically.

I wish you the best in getting through this. I know how tough it is - and I know that hangover feeling from the fioricet - ick.

iluvsunflowers15
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 7/14/2007 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
My question is should I stop the fiorcet all at once or reduce the amount i take gradually? What did you do Jana0042? I don;t want to continue being dependent on it. I am not even 30 years old! :( It sucks. Thanks for your advice.

Heather
Colazal 750 mg 3x3 daily
6-MP 50 mg (2) daily
Miralax-when needed
Rowasa-when needed
Been diagnosed with UC for 5 years


Jana042
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/14/2007 8:11 PM (GMT -7)   
You should probably talk to your doctor about it as I know there can be some pretty nasty side effects when you just stop completely. I now have breathing problems from the fioricet although they are diminishing quite a bit. I also believe that seizures are an issue when abruptly stopping this medication so please be careful.

I'm only 27 and feel like this med aged me considerably with just the breathing problems alone. I just stopped taking it one day, but I was taking more than you are - up to 8 pills a day. I didn't have any other problems, but then I'm on an anti-seizure med, so who knows what could have happened.

The pain was really bad for a few days and the depression was pretty bad as well during the withdrawal stage. It is not an easy drug to come off of. It sounds like you may need a long lasting pain medication to get you through these headaches and migraine attacks. Would your doctor be willing to prescribe something else for you?

Jana

dragonfly137927
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 7/15/2007 9:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like rebound headaches to me. I no longer take Fioracet and my Dr placed me on elavil to help prevent migraines. I have tried lots of migraine treatment meds I have tried and I have found that Relpax works the best for me. I also take Zanaflex which is a muscle relaxer I take 8 mg at bedtime. If I get a tension headache during the day I will take half of a pill (2mg) since it usually makes me very tired. I take this with either tylenol or advil, luckily advil doesnt affect my Crohn's. I also found having an ice pack in the freezer very handy for migraines, either those herbal ones or the gel ones and I place that over my eyes.
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987
 
 


iluvsunflowers15
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 7/15/2007 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   
The most I've taken was 5 pills a day. Usually, I get really bad rebound headaches when I first wake up. What's the best way to get past this and move on with my day? Yeah, i think jana is right. The problem is I am switching doctors very soon and not really very happy with the one I'm seeing. However, there is a physician's assistant I feel very comfortable with. I think I will have to make an appointment to see her. If I ween myself down, should I decrease it by one pill a day? I'm just not sure what to do.
 
Heather
Colazal 750 mg 3x3 daily
6-MP 50 mg (2) daily
Miralax-when needed
Rowasa-when needed
Been diagnosed with UC for 5 years


CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 7/17/2007 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Heather,
 
Jana is probably right, but it depends on whether you are taking straight FIORINAL or FIORINAL w/ CODIENE.  Fiorinal contains NSAID pain medications, like aspirin or ADVIL, that can set up a series of continous headaches called rebound headaches.  Even if your headaches feel different, they are all rebound headaches.  If your FIORINAL does contain Codiene, you could very well be addicted to the Codiene.  If Codiene isn't included, then you have overloaded your system with NSAIDS. 
 
The rule for Migraine pain management is that you never take more medication than prescribed, and you should never take pain meds more than two days a week.  If you take pain meds more often (OTC or Prescription meds), you develop a dependence on them, and will have a headache every day until you break the cycle.  The only way to break the daily rebound headaches is to stop taking the pain medication.  Tapering off the Fiorinal is important not to shock your system, or give you bad side effects.  You also have to stop taking all pain meds, to basically clean out your system.  This is not an easy process.  It may take a week or two, and you will feel absolutely rotten in the process.  However, it's imperative to reset your system, so that when you do have a migraine, the pain medication will work for you. 
 
Going through this process is very hellish, I've been there myself.  There is no getting past the pain.  You just have to keep telling yourself that eventually things will get better.  Just try to sleep as much as possible, so you miss being awake and in pain.
 
Please let us know how you are doing.
 
Leigh Ann cool

Basic info:
  • On Disablility for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ 
  • Divorced, 42, no children
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  • Current Meds: Lexapro, Klonopin, Wellbutrin, Migranol, Trazadone, Buspar, Nexium, Skelaxin,  Phenergan, Chantix, Iron Pills, PROHIBITED FROM ALL NSAIDS
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"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett
 
 


Cheryl1018
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 7/17/2007 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I take Fioricet on a regular basis and I do find that I am dependant on it.   I can go off it for periods of time and not get withdrawals, other than rebound headaches.   My prescription says take 1-3 pills per day.  I find that for some odd reason the Fioricet really helps with my stomach problems - I have horrible problems with IBD/Crohns.  
 
Try NOT taking the morning Fioricet for a few days and see how you do.  One reason you want to be able to be off for it for awhile is that the medication will lose its usefulness if you build up a tolerance.
Complete Hysterectomy 1991 due to Endo
Fibro/IBD
Migraines - bad ones!! Ow.
Save a life - adopt a shelter dog!!
 


iluvsunflowers15
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 7/17/2007 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cranky and Cheryl,
 
Thanks for your insights. I will definitely keep in touch and let you all know how I am doing. As of right now, I am still taking 2-3 pills a day. I find that it works better when I take it in the morning, and for whatever reason like Cheryl, it helps my Ulcerative Colitis too. I am tired of being tired and lethargic when I am on the meds. I tried not taking it for a day and I just had pounding headaches that felt like a knife was going through m y head along with nausea. But you are all right. I do not want to continue taking this drug everyday for the rest of my life. I do find that the drug does not work as well if I take the same dosage everyday. Its a good thing I am off this summer from teaching so I can start getting myself off the drug.
 
Thanks all of your for your help. It helps a lot.
 
Heather :)
Colazal 750 mg 3x3 daily
6-MP 50 mg (2) daily
Miralax-when needed
Rowasa-when needed
Been diagnosed with UC for 5 years


Cheryl1018
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 7/17/2007 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Heather, that's interesting that it helps with your colitis symptoms too. I keep telling my doc that and he doesn't believe me.
Complete Hysterectomy 1991 due to Endo
Fibro/IBD
Migraines - bad ones!! Ow.
Save a life - adopt a shelter dog!!
 

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