Fioricet contains a combination of acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Butalbital is in a group of drugs called barbiturates. It relaxes muscle contractions involved in a tension headache.
What is Fioricet?
Fioricet is a combination medication. That is, it contains several different medications that work together to have a stronger effect.
The active ingredients in Fioricet are:
- Acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol)
What is the Mechanism of Action of Fioricet ?
Acetaminophen is a pain reliever. It starts working in less than an hour to reduce headache pain. Caffeine is also useful for fighting a headache, and it increases the effectiveness of acetaminophen. Butalbital is a barbiturate, which is a sedating or relaxing type of medication. The butalbital in Fioricet helps reduce anxiety and cuts down on the restlessness caused by the caffeine.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels to improve blood flow.
Fioricet is used to treat tension headaches that are caused by muscle contractions.
Butalbital has generalized depressant effect on central nervous system and, in very high doses, has peripheral effects.
Acetaminophen has analgesic and antipyretic effects mediated by a metabolite which acts at cannabinoid receptors, contrary to popular belief it is not an antiinflammatory at safe levels (it becomes toxic at doses above 1,000mg per dose and/or 3,000mg per day).
Caffeine is thought to produce constriction of cerebral blood vessels and serves to counteract the sedative effect of butalbital.
Butalbital has a half-life of about 35 hours. Acetaminophen has a half-life of about 1.25 to 3 hours, but may be increased by liver damage and after an overdose. Caffeine has a half-life of about 5 to 7 hours