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Fioricet-cod abuse or just relief?
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Fioricet-cod abuse or just relief?

I posted this on another thread and maybe I should have just started my own.
I take I take no more than 4 a day. Never. Most times less.
My question,,,
What if you need this?
I tried every kink of relief there is for my migraines. Nada.
I have sense broken my hip, foot, wrist and neck so pain from arthritis and such is more than it's worth to live.
This stuff works! Do I use it more than I should,,,, probably but it works better when you nip it fast. What to do. ?
I have stopped just to prove to myself I can and it's back to the old headache every day as well as the other pains. Then take the aspirin, Tylenol, sudifed, ect!
What do you do? Stay on the stuff and live a fairly normal life or get off it and suffer?
Don't they make this stuff to help people like me.
I mean, anything can harm you if you take too much but what if you take what you should and it helps?
I don't know?
Thanks to all that respond.
Tags: Migraines
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31 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Mike~  

I don't know either. I hate this stuff,though. It's really sneaky.

How long have you taken it?

It does cause headaches in and of itself.

It's a PRN medication so if you use it EVERYDAY that could be a big problem. The butalbital portion of this med is the "big Bad guy" here. Codeine isn't exactly easy either!

Vicki
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Avatar_f_tn
Chronic pain is very difficult to deal with.  And the medications to treat it can often be abused.  Studies have shown, however, that only a VERY small percentage of CP patients abuse their medications.

I know I have talked with my pain management doctor at EVERY appointment about my worries of addiction.  I had also talked to my surgeon about it.  My surgeon used to laugh it off, which really bothered me.  I don't have addiction issues, but people in my personal life have and I've seen in through my work.  And working in the court, I have seen people who started out with a legitimate injury and they somehow slid into addiction.

I am extremely cautious about my medications.  Right now, I still need to take them, and there's a possibility I'll have to take them forever.   I'm awaiting a surgery to remove some hardware from my hand.  I've told my pain management NP that after that I want to taper all my medications down to nothing so I can reevaluate my pain level and maybe lower my tolerance a bit.  She's understanding about why I want to do it, and even though she doesn't think I'm at risk for abusing my medications, she does take my worries seriously.

Only you know whether you're abusing your medication or not.  And only you knows if you need to take your medications on a regular basis.  But from reading your post, I'd say a long, honest, heart-to-heart discussion with your doctor is in order.

And if you're looking for support for chronic pain, we have a wonderful Chronic Pain Forum on MH.  I've found it to be a lifesaver on many different issue.  If you are a CP sufferer you may want to take a peak at that forum.

Best of luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Fioricet w/codeine is not the appropriate medicine for arthritis nor is it the first line of
empirical pain relief.

If you have Migraines everyday, that's a big and very unusual problem that bears looking into.

I understand chronic pain. I also understand appropriate treatment of chronic pain. This is not a good drug for CP. But,I am totally biased.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have taken it for more than 10 years. I have changed the dose. It goes up and down . From 1 a day to never more than 4 a day.
I know you get use to taking it so when I need 2 then 2 more an hr or so later, I know it's time to cut back. So I get the rebound headaches maybe and pain from all the other injuries. Take lesser meds to help but nothing works like the relief from F/cod.
I don't know what the " bad boy " is here. I think the cod causes headaches sometimes.
But to me, there is no greater pain than the migraines I get. They are intense and I need to deal with them or. I've had them all my life so it's not the drug that brings them on.
This stuff works! I just hate " having to " take anything, but it's that or suffer. Still, if there was a better way,,,,,,,
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey.  I don't know a lot about migraines, but I do have some serious personal experience with abusing pills and rebound pain, so what about this?  Is it possible that you "feel" like you are having migraines, but it's really just your body screaming for the pills everyday?  I'm with vicki here....I would be shocked if you had horrible migraine headaches every single day.  My husband has them, and he gets, maybe, one or two every six months.  Might be worth talking to someone about it!  If you got off the pills, you might find that your pain gets much better! : )  I sure hope so!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your reply and understanding.
The problem with addiction is you never see it coming. I try to. Still I question the reason I use it everyday.
vicki says F/cod is not a good med for cp. I disagree. I have tried them all many stronger,  and have found F/cod works, " for me " best.
It would be really easy to take more and more of this stuff.
I just need to hear someone say that it's here for a reason and I'm not abusing it.
Or I'm only kidding myself and I am????
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Avatar_m_tn
No I don't take it everyday for migraines. I get migraines and I also get cluster headaches in no particular order. Maybe none for a week, maybe 2 a week maybe all week.
The pain from the disc in the neck is always. Plus I have a chronic cough that irritates everything! I have screws in the hip that catch on something, when I broke my ankle it did something cause it never heeled right. Many other injuries.
I'm a mess. I don't want to take anything but what do I do?
I prove to  myself every now and then by stopping. I stopped last week for a week. Just took aspirin Tylenol, etc. They don't work. So back to what does.
Does this constitute addiction?
Thanks for the reply.
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Avatar_f_tn
If you've taken this nearly everyday for 10 years,that's a bit of a problem. You have concerns already and that's why you posted.

I'm just here to tell you that it's just not a good drug to take LONG TERM because folks tend to fall in love with it. Only you know if you're addicted but I'm sure now you are dependent.

It's the Fioricet component that's the bigger concern here. Fioricet or butalbital is a barbiturate and highly addicting. Codeine,as you know, is an opiate. So,you're taking two drugs in one.

But, I am very biased. I personally think butalbital should be taken off the market. It can be the drug of no return. But,for you,if the benefit out wieghs the complications then you
have to make the ultimate decision to keep taking it.  I understand you're looking at quality of life.

All the best~
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Avatar_f_tn
I see.  But here is my concern with what I just read in your last post.  You don't want to try proving anything to yourself with that kind of med.  Barbiturates are not drugs that can be abruptly discontinued safely.  They must be tapered.  I took phenobarb years ago for a long time, and it was a long time before my body got ok.  It is mean stuff!  Just looking out for ya!  Might not want to do that again, ok?

And.....if you are having this inner struggle with "am I addicted or not" and trying to prove things to yourself, then I would say that the answer is usually "YES",  and talking with a doctor about a taper plan is your best bet.  

Addiction isn't usually something that people wonder about for very long.  I bet an honest doctor would tell you that you are dependent and most likely addicted at this point.  You have definitely got some pain issues to deal with, so quality of life may have to come first.  I don't really know how much pain you have.  Only you know that, and you may have to get off the pills to know exactly how much pain relief you really do need.

Talk to a good doctor.  I bet ya they can help!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
You pretty much nailed it.
Thing is this,, I have proven to myself I can go without it. At least I did  for a week a couple times. Reason, I don't like to be addicted to anything. That monkey on your back is,,
anyway, so I can stop. It ain't easy. I think about it all the time and all but after the withdrawals subside, I'm back to taking the same old, never work over the counter pills.
Killing my stomach and not getting relief.
As vickki said, I know I must have a problem otherwise I wouldn't be posting here but what's worse?  I don't know. Damed if you do and damed if you don't.
Thank both of you!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Mike~

It just comes down to:  Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Anyone can stop a med for two weeks simply by "white knuckling" it. It only proves that you can live without it for a little while,all the time waiting to start taking it again. It really doesn't prove anything. But,I do understand why you do it.

The good thing is you've not increased your dose in 10 years. The bad thing is you want to.  I'm thinking there may be something else that can cover your pain so you can relax a bit. It's obvious you're concerned...

Just some thoughts...
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks vicki.
I have to disagree with you on that anyone can stop for 2 weeks. I lived through  the 60's so I know that's not always true.
The thing about there being other meds, well I've tried them all. I can get most anything I want because of how bad I am.. Those other drugs always proved to be no good. All the did was mask the pain or put me out. The F/cod seems to take it away.
I do appreciate your input though and don't just write  it off. I know there's more to it than this. Thanks.
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay...disagree with me. You get my point though. I don't know what the 60's have to do with this. We're talking about medicine here not illegals...

Anyway,good luck with this. I think you're looking for permission to go ahead and keep taking the F/C.  You've got pain,the med works for you,you've tried everything else,so
there's your answer!!

All the best~
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Avatar_m_tn
She ask what I'm looking for.
Encouragement, alternatives, support, maybe even a don't worry you're doing fine considering.  That's why I posted this here. Not to argue or to make excuses. A far as the 60's, well if you went through that you know about drug addiction, alcohol addiction etc. I beat all that and I'm clean.
Except for F/cod!
Just looking to see what others think.
Off to the Dr. I'll ask him,,, again.
Thanks all.
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chronic pain IS difficult to deal with. i disagree slightly with vicki in that i DON'T think this med should be removed from the market...but i DO think it should be as controlled as oxycodone, morphine, seconal, amytal, nembutal...etc......the reason i think this is because there really are some people who this is the only thing that works.

for me, triptans are useless and so is midrin. what else is there? opiates? yes...but in and of themselves they don't work very well on a migraine. butalbital does something that just simply removes the migraine...but it doesn't do it for everyone.

anyway, vicki has mentioned some VERY important info that you need to consider. rebound headaches FEEL like extremely bad migraines. the worst migraines of my life were rebound migraines.....i've never felt anything like it. horrible stuff. one way i can tell the difference between rebound and real migraines is that if it disappears right away, it perhaps was a rebound. real ones for me are just a bit harder to get rid of. i assume this is because a rebound headache is a response to the lack of the medicine in your body...so once you fix this, you're all better. real migraines have a different cause, and therefor are harder to kick. you should speak with your doctor about rebound headaches.

what preventative meds have you tried? during my time withdrawaling from this med in the past, i used depakote, midrin, imipramine, and a few other meds. in retrospect i probably didn't actually need any of them...but it did make it more comfortable. i think it prevented some of the rebound headaches...that and excedrin. i'm not recommending any meds, but i do think u should talk to ur doctor about trying different things out.

lastly, if NOTHING else works and you rule out rebound headaches...then you truly are a chronic pain patient and different rules apply because this means you HAVE to take the medicine to feel better. i would be very sure that this is what you are, though..because this medication can make it seem like you are when you aren't. then if you are a chornic pain patient, go to a specialist for chronic pain. have them closely monitor your use so that you never end up taking 10 or 20 of these things a day. get chronic pain support and try to find alternative ways to help deal with the pain so that you can use less medication.

yes, vicki is bias. she HATES this med, and so do i...let that be a warning to what it can do. if, in the end, you HAVE to take this med every day, remember that its destroyed many lives and use it as cautiously as you can. if you find that you actually are an addict and not a chronic pain patient, then this forum will be a wonderful tool for you to use. there's not much info out there on this drug so to talk to others who know a thing or 2 about it is helpful...but make sure u talk 2 ur doc about it too.
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Avatar_f_tn
I got fiorinal w codeine 20 yrs.ago after childbirth,sure I had pain but not much,when you take one and it works you take 2 so they'll work better.Every pain pill is addicting,and when you don't take em you have rebound pain.
Thank God that ob/gyn only gave me one refill and refused to give me more.
I stopped taking Lortab 6/11/10 after 7 years,all the pain I felt to justify taking those pills has subsided,And I have arthitis,a pinched nerve,torn menisgus.Really all that was rebound pain,do yourself a favor.Stay off that and any pain med.Also,we all have good and bad days.That is normal,we don't need meds for every ache and pain.Just my opinion.
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