Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
Questions about fioricet. Is there an expert around?
About This Community:

This community is a place to share information and support with others who are trying to stop using drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco or other addictive substances. Discuss with others, the symptoms of addiction, addiction recovery, ways to quit like tapering and cold turkey, and withdrawal symptoms. If you are interested in general "chat", please visit our Addiction Social Community.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Questions about fioricet. Is there an expert around?

I have been taking fioricet since march 26, 2011.  Started taking as prescribed.  1-2 every 4-6 hours as needed but did not take them everyday. But then around May I started taking them every day and then I started increasing the dosage.   I went about a week without them in July and had the the worst anxiety I have ever experienced in my life.  My personality started to change and I didn't want to leave me house, not because I wanted to stay home and do drugs, it was because of anxiety.  Since July I have had them almost every day and since the beginning of October have had them every day.  I had worked up to 8 and 10 a day.  My question.  Was I on them long enough to have seizures???  I have not had any since Sunday and it has been rough but I can handle it.  I am just worried about seizures?  Any information would be appreciated.
Related Discussions
40 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi!   I have to say this immediately:

DO NOT STOP THIS COLD TURKEY!  You've already done that but it's wrong. You can have a seizure up to two weeks or more after abrupt withdrawal. So...this med has to be tapered. Period. Taper off of it.

I took Fioricet forever and a day!  I'm so glad to be rid of it. I tapered off over many months and it was really the best thing to do. Not only did I avoid seizures but the process was so slow it allowed me time to adjust to diminishing doses while getting my support systems together.

Post back...I'll be here a little longer.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I had no choice.  I was trying to decrease it and the prescribing doctor, after all this time, chose not to refill it.  I do not have access to another doctor and the one prescribingit told me "you'll be fine".  I am not discounting what you said at all.  I just do not know what to do.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
You need to call that doctor back and tell him the absolute truth: you've taken it every day beyond recommended doses and you're scared. Tell him you want an rx you can use to taper off with. Tell him you need a taper schedule. Tell him you are addicted to it. Tell him he needs to help you. Tell him you want to be cautious and do the right thing. Tell him it's a barbiturate and you KNOW it needs to be tapered. Call your pharmacist and ask HIM to talk with your doctor.
How are you feeling exactly?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have done everything you just suggested.  She KNOWS I was taking more than she prescribed but she kept authorizing refills or I wonder if it was her nurse that authorized it,  I don't know but last time I tried to refill it she wouldn't refill it and she called and said she was concerned about the amount of fioricet I was consuming and she wouldn't refill it.  When I found out that it was a barbiturate I called back.  It was not open for discussion.  I have a rx for klonopin for restless legs that she gave me last March.  I took one and could not function the next day.  My point of telling you this is that my doctor asked me if I still had the klonopin and I said I thought I did.  She said "you'll be fine" if you need to take the klonopin.  I don't know what one has to do with the other.  I talked to my pharmacist day before yesterday because I was feeling shakier than I have ever felt in my life.  I did not ask the specific question you suggested I told her what my doctor had said about the klonopin and she said "I don't know what she was thinking".  They are different types of drugs.  You need to talk to your doctor.  Yesterday I took part of one and because I was shaking and scared and it did calm me down but I am getting more frightened the more I read about the drug.  I have not hidden a thing from this doc.  I have been as honest as I could be and told her I had been taking more than prescribed.  I don't know what to do now.  I feel like I am being blown off because the first phone call I got telling me that it was not going to be refilled was from a nurse.  She made the comment Dr............ wasn't aware of how much you were taking.  So that is why I made the comment about a nurse authorizing refill.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
i'm sorry you aked how I was feeling.  Today, just really shakey (shaky).  Monday I could not hold a fork.  Tuesday I was shaking and couldn't sleep and sweating a little.  Wed, couldn't sleep but slept some last night but yesterday afternoon I felt like I was running fever and chilling.  Took temp., didn't have any but that is when I took the part of a klonopin because I was scared.  I am having a little muscle twitching and muscle weakness.  I have not had any halucinations, I have thought I was seeing flashing lights one time.  I don't know if that was a halucination.  Today I feel dizzy and scared.  Fell like I am just waiting for a seizure to hit.  I have noticed that if look up quickly I get really dizzy.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Okay. Actually, the Klonopin will help. It's sometimes used as an anticonvulsant. Take it as it was prescribed on the label. Don't worry...

Are you having headaches?  Be sure you're drinking enough water and juice and be sure to keep something in your stomach.

Stay as calm as possible and just rest for the next several days. I really think the doctor could have been a bit more supportive and given you a better explanation. No need to see her again,huh?

Do you have another doctor you've seen? An OB/GYN maybe?  It would be good to have someone you can call to run all this by...

What you're describing above sounds like some symptoms of dehydration. Get drinking!  You should feel much better. The muscle twitching will be helped by some minerals like magnesium and potassium. I have some combo tabs that I still take and they work fast! You can buy them in most places. I use K-Mag Aspartate by Source Naturals.

Keep posting...I'm going to contact another member "expert" and he'll post to you as well.   xo
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Yes, Mon, Tues and Wed the headaches were horrible.  I figured it was caffeine withdrawal.  I took Excedrin tension.  I did get sick and throw up early 3am tuesday morning.  I am drinking a lot of water and juice but I can't eat much.  I can take a couple of bites and then I just can't get it down.  I do think that I was dehydrated because I had to drink lots and I mean lots of water 8-10 glasses before I ever felt I needed to go to the bathroom.  Yesterday and today the headaches have just been a mild dull headache that I can live with.  One thing I don't think I mentioned is that when I do fall asleep I always wake up with my heart pounding and feel like I am burning up.  It takes a while for me to calm down but if I go back to sleep it starts all over again.  Even if I just doze.

I don't have another doc.  I have used this one for everything and you are correct, I won't be seeing her again.  I called the pharmacist after getting your post and this one said "well you were taking a lot but that is between you and your doctor".  
I looked at the Klonopin bottle and it is 1mg and it says to take 1 at bedtime as needed for leg spasms.  It is a bottle of 90 and I have only take 1 and 1/2 since March.  The half was taken yesterday.  Is this enough to protect me from seizures?  

Honestly I am glad that she did not refill it.  I was trying to stop but couldn't seem to.  I have read other posts and they will scare you to death.  
I didn't and don't want to be an addict but if I am I am but I don't want to die because of a ill informed doctor or whatever she is.  
I know it servers no purpose but I am really getting angry.  
I can guarantee you that I will never take another fioricet.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
It's good to get angry! Believe me!  Most of us got caught by surprise with this drug...

Yes...you were dehydrated and that accounts for all of your symptoms. Including the fast heartbeat!  Just try to stay calm.

It's really great that you have the Klonopin. It's going to do the trick here. I can't tell you how much to take for this; it's against forum policy. But, it's easy enough to find out. Just google "Klonopin dosages". Read as much as you can so you know what you're taking. It will get you through this period and then slowly cut back on it to stop.

I understand about the not eating!  Try some protein shakes/drinks. It's really important to keep your nutrition at peak. You need all the vitamins and minerals right now. Take vitamin C and the B vitamins especially.

Ha!  I have already been scared to death by this drug. It IS good that this happened but not quite this way. It's so irritating to me: you have a doctor and do what you're supposed to and still get treated like this. Not just you but a lot of people run into this!  It's pretty sad when you're forced to turn to strangers for help...but we're here and you'll be fine.

Anything else?  Keep posting and asking questions. We're happy to help!
Blank
1135275_tn?1326582465
this isn't good. you're doctor is an idiot. i would be looking for a new doctor.

klonopin will possibly help with the seizure risk...however, your pharmacist is right in that they are two different types of drug. benzo's generally aren't used for barbiturate withdrawal...BARBITURATES are used for barbiturate withdrawal.

i feel for you. vicki suggested that i comment on this, however i'm totally at a loss for what to say. you were taking around half a gram of butalbital a day and the half-life is 35 to 100 hours, so who knows what levels it had built up to....and to abruptly stop that is just wreckless. however, you have nno options. i would say that if you have any type of seizure at all, i'd get straight to the ER....then I'd sue your doctor afterwards.

I don't know what to tell you other than the klonopin MAY help avoid seizures, but i would be cautious with it and use it no longer than needed. i wish i could give you a suggestion....but there's none to be made since you have no way to get more pills. just hope for the best.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Matt-  The benzo will hit most of the same receptors and though it's not optimum, it will help avoid the seizure risk. It's used quite often as an anticonvulsant.  I definitely agree though: it's not the best for a barb withdrawal...

Jones-  Are you alone? If so, please let someone know about this, okay? Also, I've been thinking about what I would do if this were me. I would go to an urgent care. I don't know if you have one near to you; we have many where I live. Anyway, I would go and explain everything. It's about the only thing you can do now. Tell them you have that Klonopin and ask for advice. If they're any good they'll help you get back on the Fioricet so you can taper off properly.

Let us know how you are...
Blank
1135275_tn?1326582465
well, they produce a similar feeling and possess similar anticonvulsant properties...however, the way they affect GABA is totally different. it will help....but it's a huge question mark as to how much it will actually help.

its much better than nothing, though.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
That's what I think,too; it's better than nothing...I sure wouldn't want to be in this situation and that's why I would go to an urgent care center.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
HI   your in good hands with both these members there are resident fioricet
experts...please listen to them thy have your best intrust at heart
doin this the right way rather the c/t will be a bit more comfortable good luck and God bless ......Gnarly  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thank you, this is a bit new to me and since I have had so much help from the doctor that prescribed it, I need all the help I can get.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
How are you feeling today?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
To say that my doctor is an idiot is an understatment and the more I read about this drug the more I am thinking she and her attorneys have not heard the last of me.  Her office has gone out of their way to make me feel like I have done something wrong.  I did what they let me do.  I have never gotten them from anyone else, I am looking for a new doctor but right now I am worried about the outcome.  You stated that I was taking half a gram of butalbital.  I had only taken that much since October 3.  I know this because this is the day my husband was laid off.  He got laid off and I went from taking 6 a day to 8-10.  Was I taking the 8-10 a day long enough to have seizures/  Don't know why I asked cause I am afraid I know the answer.  Vicki595 suggested that I go to an Urgent care clinic.  I am 16 miles from an er and 30miles from an Urgent care clinic.  My husband is out of town on a job interview and my daughter is working and won't be back until tonight around 5.  Am I going to die?
Blank
1135275_tn?1326582465
Its more than enough...the 6 to 8 a day had already built up in your system and that alone was enough to cause problems if going cold turkey.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I am ok.  I was better before I read all the posts.  I guess whatever happens happens.  I didn't sleep well last night and I feel awfully tired.  I am not shaking as bad but I guess that is because of the Klonopin.  What is a half life and when will the drug be totall out of my system..  I know from what you have sad that you can have seizures for two+ weeks after stopping.  When can I feel safe?  Thank you for helping me.  Is that what doctors do to people?  Get them addicted to drugs and then stand back and take a hands off attitude?  If so they should be sued.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
It seems that some doctors do as you've suggested but more often they don't. I'm sorry this happened to you...

Fioricet has a long half life. It can be up to 5 days before the drug is totally eliminated. It's different with all of us though. When can you feel safe?  I don't know exactly but everyday that you get further ahead of this without incident is a good thing! The Klonopin will help. So will keeping well hydrated.

I still think going to the urgent care is the best thing to do. I know it's a distance but I think it's worth the piece of mind. Also, speak to your pharmacist about this. He/she is able to get to your doctor and advocate for you. Often times, a pharmacist is friendly with a few doctors that he knows will probably help you. Ask about this. I know that my pharmacist is very helpful with folks in the neighborhood (it's his pharmacy;not a "walgreens").

No. You are not going to die. You could hit your head if you have a seizure though and that's more realistic.

I think we'll all feel better if you can find someone there to talk with about this. See what you can do. Oh and I just had a thought: It's the weekend and I wonder if your doctor has someone covering for her. You might try to get to that doctor. Not all think the same...

Stay in touch!
Blank
495284_tn?1333897642
Thanks Vicki and My_mayberry for helping out here.  

Jones, you are in good hands here with these 2.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I put in a call to the answering service.  Guess waht my doctor is on call.  Didn't leave message.  

So all of the fioricet should be out of my system since I haven't had any since last Sunday?  Am I to be more vulnerable now?  I found practice guidelines for the Texas State Department of Psychiatry on butalbital detox but they use valium and I don't know how to compare the two.  I just cannot believe this.  
I am staying well hydrated and taking vitamins and to be honest I am afraid to drive alone to the Urgent care.  I haven't driven all week.  I don't want to chance having a seizure and killing myself or someone else.  I want to tell you how much I appreciate your help and support.  It means a lot.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My pharmacy is a walmart 16 miles away and they don't want to help.  I guess I am just a number
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
That's a good question. There is a window when we're the most vulnerable and,of course, it's different for everyone. For me(and I know this) it's 5 days.
If I get past 5 days I'm on the home stretch!  Not now though! I'm 19 months free of this junk! But, in the past that was MY window. So many things factor in to this: amount taken daily, length of time,etc...I took this med for many,many years. You've taken it for 8 months. That IS in your favor but how much I really don't know...

They use Valium? Wow! Okay, Valium and Klonopin are similar benzos in that they both have a long half life. Withdrawing from Fioricet is generally done WITH Fioricet and truthfully I'd love to see you back on it so you can do this properly!

I understand about the driving. Can anyone go with you? Can your daughter come home early?  I really think this is important enough to pull out all the stops, you know?  I'd also drop that doctor's name EVERYWHERE! LOL!

The ER is closer. I'd go there and lay it out to them. They'll know the score.

What do you think?
Blank
1135275_tn?1326582465
Well the half-life is 35 to 95 hours. Lets say your average is 50 hours, though its hard to know from person to person an exact half life. This means in 50 hours of your last dose, you will eliminate half the drug. That means half a gram will be reduced to 250mg. Heres the catch...it takes another 50 hours for that to be reduced by half...and so on. So 100 hours in, you are down to 125mg (just over 2 tabs)...but that will only reduce to 62.5 after another 50 hours and 32.25 after another 50...and thats only half a gram dose. Theres no telling what your steady state had built up to, but it was much higher than half a gram.
Blank
1135275_tn?1326582465
Dont worry about seizure though. Just stick with your klonopin and hope for the best. Seizure can be delayed a while...but the worst is always the first week. I think you will be in the clear. Dont worry about the things u cant change. Do what u can do, hope for the best, and get to the ER if u have ANY major problems.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for the support and the explanation.  Wow.  How do you lean all this.  I really do appreciate everything.  Did you have a problem with fiorict.  How long have you been off of it?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I'll answer for him...LOL!

Mayberry is very smart and has a load of first hand experience! He is MY "go to guy"!

He'll be back and explain more probably...in the meantime, what have you decided?  A good way to determine how you're doing and what to expect is by how you're feeling right now compared to how you felt on Monday and Tuesday. If you feel substantially better, then you've eliminated a good amount of the drug. I know that I have a very fast metabolism so I knew when I was on the mend, back in the day...

We'll be hanging here with you so keep checking in! I need to scoot now but I'll check on you later!  Keep drinking and peeing!   xo
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
How are you today?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hello Vicki:  
I think I am doing pretty good.  I feel quite cranky today and still shakey (shaky) but other than that I think I am doing pretty good.  I am taking the klonopin at bedtime like the script says.  Last night I woke up a lot but my heart was not pounding as hard each time.  I have been drinking and trying to eat but I just can't seem to get it down.  Is this part of it?  Can you give me any advice on how long I should take the klonopin.  I have been reading about it and I sure don't want to get addicted to something else and I don't like how they make me feel.  I REALLY appreciate your support.  I am sorry that you have had a problem with the pills but glad to hear you talk about how much better you feel.  It gives me hope.  All in all, I am glad the doc didn't refill them, I just think it is crappy how she did it.  But as long as I am ok I can deal with it.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Yes...I'm a new person. Believe me.

The Klonopin is addicting. It's a benzodiazepine. I think you're slowly crawling out of the woods for sure BUT I want you to talk to a physician about the Klonopin now.   It's helping you but I really can't tell you when to stop taking it,okay? It just wouldn't be safe for me or for you.

Anorexia IS part of the process. Just keep trying to eat. Try things you love and do small amounts at first.
Blank
1135275_tn?1326582465
to answer your question, i've been a barbiturate addict through and through since i was around 8 years old. i know virtually ever barbiturate there is and whether they are ultra-short, short, intermediate, or long acting barbiturates. i know all their colors and styles and which ones are still available (very few are).......

unfortunately i've dedicated too much of my life to this. i identify closely with judy garland because she was given barbiturates at a very young age and simply couldn't live without them from then on. for a very short period in her life, she was sober...just like me....but ultimately it didn't last. in any event.....these days, the last of the barbiturates is a relatively little known drug named butalbital. it often isn't thought of as heavy-duty and it often isn't even thought of as a drug of abuse, since fioricet isn't even a controlled substance. however, a drug with a similar half-life is amytal. that drug is a C-II and is only available in injection form these days. nembutal is also only available in injection.

anyway......people know a lot about the cars they love or the teams they love or the people they love. sadly, my life from  a very VERY early age revolved around the drugs i love and so i know a lot about them. in those days, you could still get seconal and nembutal. i even took phenobarbital along with fiorinal and literally slept for DAYS only waking up long enough to make bathroom trips and sometimes eat. i had a round with chloral hydrate, as well.

today, its impossible to get those drugs. i often get depressed about it......but that just goes to show how deep the disease of addiction goes. i know its a good thing i can't get them because if i could, i'd be dead.

enough about me, though. i'm glad you're doing well. using the klonopin longer than 2 weeks will make it possible to experience withdrawal from the klonopin...even at low doses. it probably wouldn't be severe, but it would be uncomfortable and would defeat the purpose of using it to begin with beyond the window of seizure risk.

i can't tell you when to quit using it......only that as you close in on your 2 week mark, you're pretty much out of the worst of it. beyond that, i don't know that the klonopin would do any good and it would be very easy to become dependent on it. i can tell you one thing from experience......barbiturates are much easier to stop cold turkey than benzo's. the seizure risk is much higher with barbiturates than with benzo's.......however, once a tolerance is developed with benzo's, it's VERY hard to stop taking them. the seizure risk is lower, but the physical withdrawal symptoms are HORRIBLE. i would avoid benzo's any longer than absolutely necessary.

you're lucky. something to mention about barbiturates is that going cold turkey isn't a guarentee that a person will have a seizure. in fact, the majority dont. its just that its totally unpredictable who will have one and how bad it will be if they do....and also a person can go cold turkey once and be fine, but the next time it could cause seizures or worse. its an unknown....but cold turkey isnt a guarentee for a seizure. the ugly truth is that most people don't. however, its always best to be far too cautious with this drug than to be not cautious enough because of the consequences of guessing wrong.

Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I am feeling pretty good.  I am running a low grade fever.  Is this because the barbiturate suppresses the cns???
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Vicki:

Thank you and My-mayberry for your support.  I have an appointment with a NEW doc on the 1st of december.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
You're so welcome!  AND a new doctor!  Excellent!

Low grade fever? I wouldn't worry about it. Check it a few more times to see if it's increasing but I doubt it's related.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Blank
1135275_tn?1326582465
glad you got a new doc! now that you're off this drug...don't go back!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Vicki:

Help!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have not had any fioricet since the 13th of November and I was rocking along just fine and then night before last I did not sleep all night.  I slept a little last nigh but I am having the worst anxiety I have ever had in my life and nothing I do, exercise, etc. helps it.  Is this part of it.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Yes...it's part of it and I'm sorry.  The lack of sleep will further increase the anxiety. Do you have anything in the house to help with sleep? If so what? Would you like some suggestions?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have nothing in the house except elavil which I take at night 30mgs.  Please any suggestions or help.  I am desperate  how long will it last???
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I was going to ask you about other meds...There are all natural supplements that are great but not with an antidepressant. I know you haven't seen the new doctor yet but you can ask him when you go tomorrow what he thinks. That being said here's what I've taken with good results: Melatonin and L-Tryptophan, together or separately sometimes. When I took them I was taking Paxil and I never had a problem but I wanted you to know that it's best to check with the doctor or even your pharmacist. I always took a very small dose and it was effective.  You could try Benadryl also...it's fairly benign in small doses and it may get you drowsy enough to sleep.

Hope that helps...Oh and then there's Valerian Root which is very calming... and sometimes used for insomnia. It's called "Natures Valium". Again, use with caution with AD's. It can increase or slow down effects depending on the type of AD.

I don't know how long it will last for you...it waxes and wanes,you know? You may feel like this for a few days and then be fine and then it will return for a day or so. It's different with everyone I think. I DO know it didn't last that long with me. But I did things a little differently too. When I stopped the Fioricet, I was only on 2 tabs per day per my taper so I think I had less of a "shock" to my body.

Talk with the new doctor about all of this tomorrow. Please let me know how the appt. went...
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for the information.  I will let you know what the new doc says.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Addiction: Substance Abuse Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank