Hello, I am writting for the first time on this site, I have been taking Fioricet with codeine for about 4 1/2 years for migraines.. I am taking 4 capsules daily and have been for a long time..My question is about addiction..I have not increased the dose at any time.. the max dose is 6 capsules a day ..so i am not taking more than directed per day..i still have the same effect from 4 capsules except less drowsiness and more funcntionability on the medication..i take the same amount daily and do not have any desire too increase the dose.. even though this may sound like i do not have an addiction.. i have tried to stop and i have had withrdrawl syndrome,my research has shown that people who are on schedule drugs for chronic pain can have withdrawl syndrome without actually having an "addiction",i do like the way the medication males me feel,i do get a "buzz" from it,without increasing the dose,i have "doctor hopped" to get meds early.. because perhaps the doctor does not know i take 4 per day..30 pills last about 8 days and i see that as a problem...also i take 4 pills daily weither i have a migraine or not..self treating or prevenitive for fear of a headache or addiction or denial i dont know which it is..also i take about 3-6 excedrine daily so i think i have "Chronic daily headache" due to withdrawl syndrome from excedrine and the fioricet with codeine.I am in the healthcare field so i have alot of info but i really need some advice,also my mother has has a serious addiction to RX meds since i was a little kid...she takes opioids,benzo's,exc..thanks in adavnce
I think you ARE addicted physically (maybe not mentally) since your having rebound (drug induced) headaches. Go to the site Golden Slipper told you of. FiorinolJr and Goldenslipper are great people, they will help you.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT,4 PILLS DAILY IS NOT SEEN IN THE REHABILITATION COMMUNITY AS AN "ADDICTION" MY INSURANCE WOULD NOT EVEN PAY FOR REHAB UNLESS I TOOK 15 DAILY.. RECOMMENDATIONS?? THANKS IN ADVANCE
You said you were a chiropractor right? So it is like a person coming into your office saying I have had all the xrays, this and that, I just need you to do this, this, and this and I will be out of here in a half hour.
Welcome to the forum. There are a few other fioricet/fiorinal people here with more knowledge and info for you on ways to taper and stuff.
As to whether you are an addict or not...yes. But who cares. Nobody here, we all are. So WELCOME.
With a long and slow taper process you will be able to get off the fioricet with the help of the excedrin, because you are addicted to the butibal in the fioricet, as well as the caffiene and will have rebound headaches which are inevitable.
I will say though, at 4 a day, you are doing great. It is a lot easier to taper down from a dose that low per day.
Keep the taper, low and slow and you will do fine. The others on this forum that are addicted, recovering, or have been through it all, will be of more help and assistance. There are people here that have successfull tapered down from 3x your intake...
Welcome once again, you are in the right place,
Hi There and Welcome to the forum. There are many of us fioricet addicts here. I have been addicted to fioricet for over 20 years on and off. We used to have a long thread on this site but it got deleted. The thread pretty much told all of our stories.
I don't want to go into too much detail about my experience except to say that I got started the same way you did. I would take the pills when I didnt' have a headache thinking I could avoid one. Gradually it got to the point where anytime I was stressed at work or was worried I would fear a migraine and take some pills.
This lead to a long struggle with addiction and I eventually ended up having 11 doctors who were all prescribing the same drug and none of them knew about each other. You can stop this now and not have to suffer the way some of us did. At four pills a day you could taper off very easily. Although the mental part would be the hardest physically you should be ok.
I got to the point where I was up to 8-10 pills per day and there is another one of us who is currently away on vacation who was up to 20 per day.
We also post over on "DrugAbuse.Com" under the support section. When you log on you will see a long thread called fioricet addiction.
Please keep posting here and visit us on the other forum.
Well, my first thoughts is that they gave you a raw deal. OF COURSE it is about the money - evidently maintenance usage doesn't bring in any real bucks. I have absolutely no experience with Bup or rehab or pain clincs, but I do know you have been dealt a bum hand. Have you tried to speak with the manager or supervisor there? It's a shame you would have to drive all those miles when there is a facility so close to you !? I would definitely speak with the supervisor - tell them without their help you are heading for a total relaspe...it's worth a try. Sorry you're going thru this, BM - I know you've been trying so hard to get completely clean...this sucks - but don't give up! Love, Lisabet
Why do you feel you need a rehab? or detox??? Can you take three pills for a week or so and then two and one? I know others who have quit that way. And I believe they were taking four as well.
I know it's not easy but I started out just like you. And that was twenty years ago.....I am taking triple what you are. I have been in two rehabs. With not much sucess. Please.....this is a very dangerous drug. It has consumed my life. I am looking into a rehab.now. I hope to go soon.....trying to taper is very hard for me. I don't think I can do it. FiorinalJR and Golden Slipper have been very helpful. I am sure they will respond to you as soon as thay can. Please hang in there.....We all care.
Sorry I have been trying to post on the new site but it keeps telling me my passcode is wrong. I don't know what is going on but I will keep trying.
Pharmdee - I also don't see why you would have to enter a detox if you are only taking 4 a day. I'm not saying it will be a breeze, because it won't you will have some symptoms and mentally you will have cravings for the drug.
Perhaps you could speak with an addiction doctor, that is what I finally did, I have been off the fioricets since the end of November and I do have cravings, not as bad as I did at first. I also have had some pretty bad "rebound headaches" which I have treated with Imitrex.
I see a counselor once a week and also attend a women's recovery group that meets once a week. I don't think I would be able to stay away from the stuff if I didn't have these tools in place for me. This forum and the other forum (which I can't seem to post to at the moment) have been very supportive as well. I was taking 8-10 per day and did not go into a detox. The doctor put me on a tapering program which although very difficult I managed to stick to. I also take "neurontin" 3 times a day. You probably are familiar with this drug it is used to avoid seizures but they also use it for pain control and anxiety. It has helped me to sleep at night during WD and also helped me to stay calm as I get extremely anxious when I WD from the fioricets.
As far as the codeine component there are people on this board who can help you with the WD that you will experience from that. I know they say you have flu like symptoms, although I think at your dose they may not be too bad.
I hope I have helped in some way, please continue to post and I will keep trying to get onto the other board. I don't know why it won't take my passcode.
Have a restful evening and know that there are people here who can help you.
Linnie Sue - Good to hear from you I am so sorry to hear how you are struggling. Please keep posting and send me an email when you get a chance. Again my address is: ***@**** and Pharmdee please feel free to email me as well.
Yesterday I had my first visit with a local clinic that prescribes suboxone. For the last three months prior I have been taking buprenorphine prescribed by a pain doctor 300 miles from my home. They took the usual drug history, had me give a urine and then began to outline their treatment program. Their program included random urine testing for opiates, daily visits for the first 2 weeks in order to detox and mandatory drug councelling. All of this for a fairly hefty price. I explained to them that in spite of a nearly 30 year drug history that I have been generally happy and successful in my life. I am a professional with a good career, a wife, daugher and a home. I had already had every type of personal councelling available including NA, AA, psycology, psychiatry, a two year stay in a therapedic community and a dozen Anthony Robbins seminars. I questioned them as to what at this point any type of talk therapy could do for me. I also explained that I did not need to be detoxed since I was already stable on the buprenorphine and there was nothing to detox from. All I really needed to keep me stable and away from other narcotics was the suboxone.
Imagine my suprise when I went back today and was told that I was an "undesirable patient". What they really wanted were "street addicts" and that I was being discharged immediately. It is a dark day when you find yourself a misfit even amoung misfits. Because I did not fit the usual stereotypical down and out drug addict that I was somehow less in need than others. Or maybe it was all about the money and if I did not want or need all of their other "services" they would find someone that did.
Hi..How are doing??? I am still at work so I can't really say much. I am doing pretty much the same. Sadly I can't taber.God knows I tried. Character defects I guess....I don't really know.
What I do know though is I don't want to be this way but I am having such a hard time. This is so insane. I never thought my life would come to this. I am is such a bad mood today...I think everything is everyone's fault. And I know It's me.
I have a plan....I just have to do it. I hope your doing well...
I mean this in a kind and loving way but your naivete is frightening. Are you suggesting that we as addicts sit quietly like good little junkies while these newly establised private clinics force upon us unneeded and unwanted services to the tune of $3000.00 and more? There is someone who posts here occasionally who played the part of the complient little junkie and did not stop until her credit card was maxed out at $10,000. After that, she was dropped as an "undesirable patient".
It is the history of the drug treatment industry to finacially exploit either the patients, the insurance companies or the federal government for funds. An entire industry was built around the methadone clinics in the 70s-90s. It included doctors, nurses, councellors, psychiatrist, psycologists and endless other support staff. All of these "services" have been forced down patients throats when all they most really needed from the clinic was the methadone. Their true needs including housing, employment, child care and professional training were never addressed by these clinics. It took 20 years but the federal government and the insurance companies got tired of being bled and began pulling funds from these places. Now, there are only a few left. We as addicts are one of the most vulnerable segments of the population. We sat quietly and let it happen. If you are lucky enough to have insurance that pays for suboxone, enjoy it while you can. They way things seem to be going, you will not have it for long. These doctors offices are draining as much money as they possibly can as quickly as the can from the insurance companies. It won't take long before the insurance companies drop it from their plans.
I refuse to be exploited. I will shop around until I find someone who is willing to provide the services that I need. I have no problem with someone making a living but don't exploit me financially under the guise of doing what is in my best interest. Maybe in some ways I am cutting off my nose to spite my face but there comes a point were enough is enough.
By the way, your patient with their own x-rays senerio happens almost daily. They come in usually without an appointment and tell me that all they really need is to have their back cracked. That is exactly what I do for them in nearly all cases. Nothing more and nothing less. They pay the same fee as everyone else regardless if they have insurance or not. In most cases they are out in a half hours.
.....i thought you might find this an interesting read; i copied and pasted from a while back:
(22-Jan-03) Braindead Hey, that "gene altering" part I find most interesting.
I read the transcript of an interview between Bill Moyers and Dr. Steve Hyman(studies addiction and directs the national institute of mental health).
One of Moyers' questions was: "So even though drugs have changed the brain, it can be changed back?"
Hymans' Answer : " I don't think that you can have your brain back just the way it was, but I certainly believe recovery is possible. There are some changes in your brain that may be irreversible, especially the kinds of emotional memories that we talked about, they may really be indelible. But people who have a stroke are able to recover by using other parts of their brain which weren't affected. It seems extreme, but you might think of someone who is addicted almost as if they've had a peculiar kind of stroke, which affects their motivation and self-will."
So with the above in mind, I'd love to read more about this gene-altering procedure.....
(22-Jan-03) percsnomas The company licensed to do ot is CITA (www.citabio.com)
CITA Biomedical inc. is a "penny stock" currently at $.0025$/share, but once was at about $.012. It's a good time to buy
it I imagine, but I'm no stock broker. The "ticker" is "DETOX"
on the stock market.
The company is not answering a lot of questions about the gene
therapy though, since it's a packaged deal with the detox.
I so want to do it, but it could be a hoax to get the stock to come up! (woodsuck..woodsuck)
Here you go,...
This is an excerpt of an older study that led to the current
By the way I'm able to get "Buprenex Injectable", any day of
the week at my local Rx. Are you talking about "Subutex", the
U.S. version of the sub-lingual tablet that's called "temgesic"
Anyways the "rapid detox" has been around a while and without
exception buprinorphine is the state of the art, many detox
centers including CITA use it for the detox portion of the treatment. It does take affect within hours and seems
miraculus, so it would be hard to distinguish a clinic
simply using buprenex, and one using it AND gene therapy
to make the change PERMANENT.
It's the "neuro-adaptation" (or re-adaptation) that
"resets" your neuro-receptors, and it is this part that is
heavily licensed, but a lot of clinics are boasting that they
use it when all they do is the buprinorphine and no real
"gene therapy" treatment.
It seems like it would be prime for suckering rich addicts
for 8 grand, and then not even delivering the goods.
I honestly believe CITA has the goods, but how would you
make sure they weren't just giving you some cocktail?
The bottom line is the PET or SPECT (single photon electron
computerized tomography) scan will show a before and after.
But then how do you know it's YOUR PET scan?
I guess I've just become too paranoid and untrusting, if
I could get the procedure then I wouldn't be as paranoid,
then maybe I'd let them do the procedure, but then I wouln't
need it, but then what if it didn't work?(lol)
I'm not sure but I think what they give you is
"GDNF antisense oligoneucleotide ", but there are probably
a half dozen that have been passed.
It's also possible that they inject you with hydrogen peroxide
saturated with nitrous oxide,
if you read the excerpt about what they did to rats in the
They even say below, in "hidden" nerd language,
"pre-treatment with L-N-nitric arginine methylester(10mg/kg)" that they gave the rats an equivilent of you or I injecting 3/4 gram of pure cocaine, chronically, then re-adapted them.
So the same stuff must be used for blow as for opiates.
(arginine methylester is synthetic cocaine)
AKA "ecgonine methyl ester"
CITA is in Beverly Hills, but they have offices in
hospitals around the country.
"[The expression of glial cell derived neurotrophic factor and its receptor GDNFR-alpha and GDNFR-beta mRNA in spinal cord, brainstem and frontal cortex during morphine withdrawal in rats]
Zhou W, Liu H, Xie X.
Ningbo Institute of Microcirculation & Henbane, Ningbo Drug Addiction Research and Treatment Center, Ningbo 315010, China.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the expression of glial cell derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and its receptor GDNFR-alpha (GFRalpha-1) and GDNFR-beta (Ret) genes and the effects of muscarinic receptor antagonists, NMDA receptor antagonist, inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase on the expression of these genes in the spinal cord, brainstem and frontal cortex during morphine withdrawal, and to observe the effects of GDNF antisense oligoneucleotide (i.c.v) on the morphine withdrawal symptoms in rats. METHODS: The levels of GDNF, GDNFR-alpha and GDNFR-beta mRNA were assayed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with the beta-actin mRNA as an internal control. RESULTS: The GDNF mRNA levels were increased, and GDNFR-alpha and GDNFR-beta mRNA levels was slightly increased in the spinal cord and brainstem during morphine dependence. These genes were decreased at 1 h, increased at 2 h after administration of naloxone in morphine dependent rats. While the GDNF, GDNFR-alpha and GDNFR-beta levels in the frontal cortex were increased significantly at 1, 2 and 4 h after the injection of naloxone during morphine withdrawal. The pre-treatment with L-N-nitric arginine methylester (10 mg/kg), the expressions of GDNF and GDNFR-beta in the spinal cord, both GDNFR-alpha and GDNFR-beta in the frontal cortex were decreased. The expressions of both GDNF and GDNFR-alpha in the frontal cortex were decreased by treatment with MK801 (0.5 mg/kg), and the expressions of GDNF in both the stem and cortex, and GDNFR-beta in the brainstem decreased by treatment with the methyl-scopolamine (0.5 mg/kg). The beta-actin mRNA levels were not different in each group. Moreover, the morphine withdrawal symptoms were attenuated by intracerebroven tricular injection of GDNF antisense oligoneucleotide in 6 hour and 24 hour before naloxone administration in morphine dependent rats. CONCLUSION: The results not only provide direct evidence that the expressions of GDNF and its receptors mRNA in glial cells play an important role in mediating the process of morphine dependence and may be account for the long-term neuro-adaptation associated with morphine dependence, but also suggest that muscarinic receptor, NMDA receptor and nitric oxide pathways may be involved in the expression of GDNF and GDNF receptor genes during morphine withdrawal.
I posted to you above on your great post regarding the changes to the brain. Great post.
I am not "jumping" on you.
I just don't want the average "joe" taking 5-10 vicodin a day, for say 5 months to think it is going ot tke 12-18 months for his receptors/him or herself/to heal. That is all.
You make some very valid points and have some great arguements, keep it up...
I just want to gie another outlook that it isn't always that bad, nor does it take that long.
A positive attitude, a good diet, mixed with exercise can do wonders for the healing and "repair" time to heal.
You always have some great information and personal knowledge to share. I just don't buy into the 12-18 month receptor heal time, and won't, until I see a white paper on it. that is all...
Keep it up,
PS That is what makes this forum go round, different ideas, a plethora of knowledge, and a sort of kinship through addiction...
Pharmdee, I had a lot of "my story" posts on this board, but they are gone now. My short story is that I was hooked On Fiorinal #3. I was taking as many as 15 to 20 per day, every day! And, I was functioning pretty much normally. I have a high paying, professional job, been married for 25 years, have three kids, a nice home, and nobody knew that I was taliking that many pills. I was doctor shopping, of course - seeing threeo or four docs every month so I could get enough scripts to support my need for 15 to 20 pills a day.
I didn't start at that many. An orthopedic doc started me with 30, then 30 with 3 refills, then 100 with refills, no questions asked. Then when I need more than he would prescribe, I went to a second doctor, and a third, etc. - while still seeing the first. This went on for 25 years!!!!!
Then, one of my pharmacists left the pharmacy she worked at and went to another. I called for a refill and she realized that I was going to two docs and two pharmacies. She notified both, somebody investigated, and they found out about all four docs. They all cut me off immediately!
I had a bunch of Fiorinal #3's stashed away, and decided that I would have to cut back, quickly. I had an upcoming appointment with a well known headache neurologist/addictionologist, so I figured out how much I had to cut back from the time I was "found out" to the time of my appointment, about 6 weeks away. I cut back from the 20/day to 10-12 a day in the 6 weeks, and the day of my appointment, I had three pills left.
I told the new doc everything. For the first time ever I was totally honest. This doc agreed to taper me down on regular Fioricet, by one pill about every three weeks. No codeine! She said that she would do everything she could to help me, but if she found out I was seeing other docs - that would be it. But I wanted to quit.
So, I quit the codeine cold turkey - no problem. I am now down to 5 Fioricets per day, and doing okay.
The doc told me that detox/rehab was no good - the butalbital in Fiorinal/cet takes months to leave your system, whereas rehab is usually only for two or three weeks. My doc has had much more success with slowly weaning patients off. It's working for me and a lot of other people I know.
I realize you are only taking four pills a day, but a good doctor would tell you that if you have been taking four and only four per day for a while, you likely don't need them. Your body IS physically addicted to them (if you don't believe this, try going two days with none). So, you might want to try to cut from four to three - stay there for a few weeks, then go to two, etc. Even better, get plain Fiorinal and try to stop the codeine as soon as you can.
Pharm, I am not judging you! Who am I to do that? It's just that there is a very real danger that someday, four will no longer be enough and you will start increasing and end up like me and a lot of us. Quit now, while it's not so bad.
P.S. I have noticed that all your posts are in all CAPITAL LETTERS. That's like shouting. May I suggest that you use lower case letters instead, like everyone else?
Don't want to hijack this thread but it relates to me as well.
I too am on Fioricet-cod. I take no more than 4 a day. Never. Most times less.
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?
Thanks to all that respond.
i completely understand how you feel.... i have severe back problems as well as chronic migraines, and have been on fioricet w/ codeine as well as percocet and vicodin for over a year...i got tired of being chained to all the meds and kicked everything but found myself in so much pain i couldn't function. now i'm back on the fioricet and i'm really frustrated with myself because i don't want to be on painkillers....but what do you do? nothing else works, and i just want to be able to do the things i need to do to get through the day... it's a really really hard spot to be in..... i guess there is no easy answer for this one...
Im so sorry to say. I do think you have or had a serious addiction you are or were taking crap loads of asprin. My mother, died of addiction to that drug and a mixture of other drugs in May of 2003. She also had withdrawl syndrom an doctor jumped every 3-4 weeks. She had 3 kids that were taken away from her(my brother, sister, and I.) Sadly my dad couldnt gain custody of my sister because my dad was not her legal parent, she had to live with her. My mom hadn't passed a drug test in years, we only got to see her 1 time a week and my dad or a adult he approved of had to be there at all times. Some things I want you to ask yourself.
1. Is this actually helping me? Or making me worse?
2. How am I affecting people around me?
3. Is this really worth it?
4. Who am I hurting?
5. Can I force myself to stop?(The answer is yes, don't be ashmed but if it's going too far you have to stop. If you can't, check into rehab, people will help you if you let them.)
Im new to this and i read your story. I been on fiorinal with codeine since i was 18,,,im gonna be 24 in July. I take this because i get mirgrain headaches....i stopped taking them for a week because i was gonna be drug tested and i had the worst rebound headaches. I took everything under the sun to treat them and nothing worked. I see myself taking up to 1-2 a day. It gives me energy to get thru the day. I sometimes take it when I dont even have a headache. I wanted some advice on what i can do with stopping cold turkey and dealing with the rebound headaches and how long will the withdrawal symptoms last. Anyone's input is appreciated on this as well...I dont wanna be on this for the rest of my life. I dont wanna involve anyone in this to help me because i dont wanna be judged because i know this will happen.
Go to the top of the page and you will see Post a Question, hit that and put your above post into it. That way you will have your own thread. This is an older thread. If you have any questions please get ahold of me. We have some on here that have been on Fiorinal that can help you.
I don't feel addicted to this medication. But my dr just lowered my pills and gave me fiorinal with codiene instead of my usual firocet with codiene? Idk the difference.. I take 3-4, 3x a week. Not a lot at all? They help my migraines which I have every day all day but choose to only take the medicine when I have to go to work. Why would my dr take away my medication that is actually helping? Makes no scence to me
So glad I've just found I'm not alone here with the fioricet/fiorinal #3 deal. I took fiorinal 3 for years til a stomach ulcer came about due to my chronic Goody Powder taking. I now take fioricet 3 but only 10 a month. as well as plain fiorcet for not debilitating headaches. But I've dropped the Goodys and I'm sooooo glad, the rebound headaches were really throwin me for a loop. Best wishes to us all!!
Hi there- Except for Dominosarah, none of these folks are here. This is an old thread...
Go back to the community forum page and click on "post a question". Tell us about you and what's going on...There's a lot of support in this forum but your comment here will get overlooked because the thread is old...There are several people on the forum with experience with Fioricet, including me so tell us how we can help!
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