Fioricet, which is generically prescribed as acetaminophen /butalbital/caffeine, is commonly used to relieve pain and reduce fevers. It is most commonly prescribed to relieve severe tension headaches.
Fioricet is not appropriate for everyone. A thorough medical history should be assessed before prescribing this medication. Patients with a history of heavy drinking, kidney disease, liver disease, or porphyria may not be able to take Fioricet or may require careful monitoring while undergoing drug therapy with this medication, depending on the condition and the severity of the condition. This medication is inappropriate for children under 12 years of age.
The American Food and Drug Administration rated Fioricet as a pregnancy risk category C. It has yet to be determined whether or not Fioricet causes harm or birth defects in unborn babies. This medication has been proven to pass through the mother’s breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. The prescribing physician should avoid prescribing this medication to pregnant or nursing women, or women who are likely to become pregnant.
There is a risk of side effects associated with Fioricet, some of which are severe. A patient who is experiencing a serious side effect or an allergic reaction should seek immediate emergency medical intervention. An allergic reaction will present with symptoms that include facial swelling, including swelling of the lips, mouth, throat, or tongue, hives, and difficulty breathing. Other serious side effects which require immediate emergency medical attention include symptoms such as liver damage, jaundice, slow, labored breathing, unusual bleeding, easy bruising, fatigue, dizziness, increased thirst, or increased hunger.
Other less serious side effects typically do not require emergency medical attention but should be reported to the prescribing physician. Patients should be encouraged to report all side effects. Less serious side effects include symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, agitation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, tiredness, leg pain, muscle weakness, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, excitability, rash, itching, feeling of intoxication, headache, or constipation. Dependency is a possible side effect. Less serious side effects can often be reduced to a tolerable level by reducing the dosage of Fioricet.
Fioricet should be taken exactly as it has bee prescribed by the physician. If the patient misses a dose, the dose should be taken as soon as it is remembered. However, if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped to avoid the potential for an overdose. The patient should never take a double dose of this medication. If an overdose is suspected, the patient should seek immediate emergency medical attention. An overdose will present with symptoms which include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, restlessness, insomnia, tremor, sweating, seizures, drowsiness, decreased breathing, dizziness, fainting, confusion, irregular heart beat, coma, or death.
There is a risk of negative drug interactions associated with Fioricet. A thorough medical history should be understood prior to prescribing this medication. Patients should be urged to inquire with the prescribing physician before taking any new medications, including over the counter medications and herbal remedies. Medications with known interactions with Fioricet include antidepressants, sedatives, alcohol, antihistamines, anxiety medications, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, medications that are known to cause drowsiness, and MAO inhibitors. Patients who have taken an MAO inhibitor within the 14 previous days may have serious life threatening interactions if mixed with Fioricet.
Fioricet has the following structural formula:
• Molecular formula of fioricet is C8H9NO2
• Chemical IUPAC Name is N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)acetamide
• Molecular weight is 151.163 g/mol
• Fioricet available : 40mg tablets
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