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.
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. Fioricet may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
The active ingredients in Fioricet are:
- Acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol)
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.
Is it effective for migraines?
Sometimes. There is very little scientific research to show Fioricet can stop a migraine. It is intended to be used for tension-type (muscle tension) headaches, which are different from migraines.
There is good research to show acetaminophen is effective at stopping migraines. Unfortunately, the dose of acetaminophen that works best to stop a migraine is lower than the dose in Fioricet.