Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
Withdrawal from fioricet
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

Withdrawal from fioricet

I have been taking fioricet for approximately 15 years, on and off, for migraine and tension headaches.  For the past year and a half I have been ordering off of the Internet and have increased  my dosage to 3 to 6 a day.  I desperately want to stop taking the fioricet but I'm afraid I'm addicted   I live in a very small town and am afraid to admit this to anyone or seek help from a local doctor.  Can ANYONE HELP ME??  Can I just stop taking this medication or should I decrease my dosage gradually?
Related Discussions
19 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am withdrawing from Fioricet W/Codeine and Fiorinal W/Codeine. (The Fioricet has tylenol in it, good for me when I'm away from home because it doesn't hurt my stomach. The Fiorinal has aspirin in it which bothers my stomach and I take that when I'm home because I can take it with food.) I have had 2 Fiorinal in the past 4 days...this is good for me as I have sometimes taken 7 to 12 pills a week.  It is not easy as I have been taking this medication for almost 40 years.  I first started taking Fiorinal when I was 28 yrs old, it was a miracle to finally find a doctor who would give me something for migraine headache relief since I started having them when I was 8 years old. In the beginning the 30 pill dosage lasted me over a year!  Hard to believe as I look back.  Now, at age 67, I renew my prescription once a month...knowing that is waaaaaay too much to be injesting. As I look back on my busy life, I know the increased dosage was brought on by the many stresses of life and knowing what I know now, those stresses should be dealt with in a more sane and homeopathic way.  Taking a pill to heal stress just isn't right. Exercise, eating/drinking correctly and having faith in something (other than pills)is the only way to go. (I also was raised by a periodic-alcoholic mother resulting in my being a co-dependant.) I have known the correct way to treat stress for many years but it was much easier to just take a pill and get on with my responsibilities and too many of them has resulted in my situation of today. I also think sensitive introverted people tend to be the ones who end up being dependant on drugs and/or alcohol.
But to get on with what I am doing to help myself get off these darn things.....my DETERMINATION is there for one thing! I am experiencing burning inside my body/fever, chills, body aches, "mild" headache off and on, irritability, anxiety and my usual body tenseness. I want to run and take a pill....but I have been searching on the Internet for more help and found this site as at least a contact with others experiencing similar feelings and experiences as mine.  I also found several Websites to help in detoxing my body, this is a BIG help also. My husband knows of all this but he isn't in tune with it all. He is not a "dependant" person in any way, so he does not understand nor does he seem to want to, this is part of my stress. We have been married 46 years.
My doctor said to only take "one" pill a day upon rising and then to use Ibuprophen to substitute for the Fioricet. My headaches most generally start out as tension headaches and fearing a migraine, I immediately take a Fioricet. I will not do that any longer!!!!  Can't believe it has taken me so many years to realize that with the onset of a headache, I should at least give myself a fighting chance and try taking something milder from over the counter. I take no other meds and am really healthy for my age, and that is pretty good I guess. But I want to be REALLY healthy...so this will be a challenge!

PMM, I do hope you can get away from your habit...and for whatever your reasons for taking them are, try to correct that as well.  I, too, hope I can do it.
Thanks for listening and good luck!!!...CAN
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
PMM - I hope this helps out - here is my story (brief).  
I have been taking Fiorinal W/Codeine (or F3 as I will refer to it) for 8 years. I first started taking it for tension headaches/severe headaches and then became totally hooked. Here is a little history on F3 and Fioricet:

1. They are basically the same medication - originally made by the same company and a generic from Watson. Rx for dental work many years ago and common for TENSION HEADACHE.

2. Similar to Esgic/Esgic Plus - key being Butalbital link in all of these pills (F3, Fioricet/Fioricet w/Codeine, etc).

I played college football and had a friend who worked for the company making Esgic Plus. I started taking 3-4 of the Esgic Plus pills after a game. This grew into all the common pain pills - Hydros I will call them - to the point I was taking 10 a day. The kicker is that in 1996 at the age of 23 I had a seizure while I was driving - noone was hurt thank God - but it was from trying to come off of Esgic Plus (Butalbital) cold turkey. It is NO JOKE that you can have a seizure from trying to come off of these medications cold turkey.

But this did not end my story. In 1998 I discovered F#3 - and it became my BEST FRIEND. This medication did what no other medication would do for me - even the common HYDROs - Fiorinal W/Codeine was/is the best pain medication that I ever found - BUT was EXTREMELY HARD TO QUIT! Fiorinal W/Codeine/Fioricet (the F family) lead to REBOUND HEADACHES - the main reason most doctors will not Rx them to patients. I have found that older doctors lead with this medicine because it was effective in the 70s/80s - most will not Rx them. So do not panic if you have horrible headaches in the morning - usually the minute you wake up. This is COMMON - but you need to be working with a doctor you trust to tapper off this medicine. If you do not - you need to call someone who has been on this medicine and wean off the pills. IT WILL BE TERRIBLY HARD!

I was diagnosed with adult ADD - after I had completed my Masters in Psyc (thought ADD was BS) - and quickly discovered that I was using F3 for dual purposes:
1. It slowed down my racing mind
2. I was dependent on this medication
I will not post too much here but I can tell you I was taking between 100-250 Fiorinal W/Codeine pills a MONTH!! Most days I would take 20 - usually 5-6 within 5 minutes of each other and then the rest over the next day. I did this for 6 years - the longest I went without F3 was 3 days and all I thought about was getting more of it!! Rock bottom came when I had to get on vacation (2 weeks in Hawaii) so I (1) could not get anymore of it - even though I was scoping out a pharmacy while I was there to see if they had any - (2) so I could tell my wife I was hooked and needed help. I had become so dependent on F3 that it was impacting my work and entire life! This is extreme but can happen if you let this go for too many years. I have a wonderful doctor who I came clean with about my doctor shopping (I had 5 docs) and he put me on a program (after telling me "I told you so" as he had warned me about this medication when I found him in my doc shopping). He gave me medicine and I came off of it slowly. I will tell you that I still struggle with moments of craving F3!! Just the other day I spent about 4 hours thinking about how to get some - but talked to my wife and found this site very helpful. I hope my post helps and let me know if you have any more questions!

JUST A NOTE: My doctor put me on WELLBUTRIN XL. This was VERY helpful for me and treating my ADD. Fiorinal W/Codeine WILL create insomnia - NOT COMING OFF OF IT but while you are taking it. The chemical make-up of this Rx is that you may feel tired after a few hours of taking it - but it will keep you up all night. I have NEVER experienced anything like this. It works for many, many people - I think it is a wonderful medication, just not for me. You just have to be very careful. Many well-meaning individuals have become dependent on this medication.

Good Luck!
J
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Sorry, I just found the rest of your comments on this post.  WOW, you really were taking a lot!  You must have a strong constitution and strong healthy internal organs. Were you having any side effects?  I commented on your other post (above), wondered why you quit writing in the middle of it...then I found the rest of it here.
I, too, want to go away for a couple of weeks, a change of scenery will help.  I hope your wife is supporting and encouraging you. My husband isn't as supportive as I wish he would be, he just doesn't seem to want to understand, but I do talk to him..only he has no input for me...just listens.  We are trying to plan a trip to Hawaii in May, (our 47th Wedding Anniversary) maybe it will help, hopefully I will be pretty well on my way to recovery by then.
You are so correct on all the symptoms while taking the Fioricet...I could stay up all night! Just never get tired...so once in awhile I will take a half of an Ambien, maybe once a week..for a good nights sleep. But I find that it gives me a terrific headache by morning...then I reach for the Fioricet.  Haven't had any Ambien for over a week now and I have been sleeping pretty good since cutting back on the F's. I also know that my state of mind...happy or sad...makes a big difference in my headaches.  I've had a "gray cloud" that has followed me a lot over the years, that cloud is finally lifting and I think I'm going to be okay, IF I can get these pills under control and out of my system .
Again, thanks for your info....good luck to you.
CAN
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi my name is Susan.  My situation is pretty much the same.  I had sinus surgery and got my first migraine while at the hospital during my post-op visit.  Ended up in emergency because my head felt like it was going to explode!  They took a CT scan and in the end diagnosed me with Migraines.  I started Fioricet and like so many started out hardly using them at all.  But then the migraines increased and so did the meds.  Then I found out that I have fibromyalgia and because of muscle tightness and spasms in my back and shoulders, it made matters worse.  Then I injured my rotator cuff (actually my 90 lb golden retriever did when she tried to take off around a corner and took my arm with her).  All of this has contributed to my use of Fioricet because the migraines increased.  I did start taking Topomax (topamax) and found that the tention in the back of my head went away.  It did not take away or prevent the migraines.  I also end up in pain when using the mouse for my computer (sometimes my arm and hand falls asleep) and I end up with a headache.  The sad thing is that the Neurologist told me not to wait until I got a migraine to take the medication.  I fear sooooo much to ever experience that pain again.  If I wake up with one - forget it!!  So I became dependent on it.  Now, if I don't take it, I start to feel really sick and my body hurts (different from fibro).  I take about 6 a day and while at times I feel up, I usually get tired and irritable.  I don't want to live this way!     I was told yesterday by a Doctor who works with people who are detoxing from opiads that I need phenylbarbitol sp?  to help wean off Fioricet.  Has anyone heard of that?
Oh, and thanks for the info all of you.  It's so good to know that there are people struggling but arn't afraid to tell the truth.    Sorry if this is choppy, it's early morning!
Blank
271792_tn?1334983257
Good Morning!

You are posting here on an old thread. Your best bet is to go to the top of this page, hit the Post A Question button and start your own. Copy and paste what you wrote here. That way people can respond to you easier.

Hope to see you out there......
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I staretd takking Fiorcet in my 20`s for headachs and worked great.  I used them to get me throught thr day and night. I worked in a hospital and had a few doctors order them for me One would call the pharmamacy and order 100 for me  a few timrd, My friend was also addictied and she found ways as well then we would share them.  Then I went off to rehab and got off of them for a few years.  Now I have 4 lefted and can not get a re fill as I want to stop just afraid of thr with drawal symptoms.  I habe been orefered thrm om line and they keep afer me to re order but I deleated them agaim  and hope I can stay strong not to   order any/ It will be be the week end with no one to help.  If I do not stop I will Die as they cause my appetete to disappear and have lost to much weight that I am so weak I barely go anywhere  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi all,

I have been taking Fioricets for almost 3 yrs. straight..everyday, never missing a day. I take 6 per day, everyday.  A couple of months ago, I had some blood work done (just routine) and my liver enzymes came back in the 300's!!  My doc said that is extremely high.  There are two enzymes and they should only be between 8 and I think 40 tops...so over 300 is very high.  Like an idiot though, I have not gone back for a second set of blood work like he wanted me to.  I did have an ultra sound of my liver and they said it was fine...no scarring or anything.  They checked for hepatitis as this destroys the liver and that came back negative as well.  I KNOW it's the fioricet...I read about it - the combination of butalbital and acetaminophen is damaging to the liver...that's why they recommend that you not take more than 6 per day.  Why doesn't my doctor know this?  I want to know how to get off of them.  I take 6 per day, plus I also take Ibuprofen 600 mg twice a day and I still have mad headaches.  I've had a cat scan of my head and everything is fine.  I also take lorazepam, 1 mg, 2 to 3 times a day for anxiety b/c I'm going through a divorce.  I'm sick of taking all these pills. Oh, plus my Effexor XR 150 mg for depression - which doesn't work b/c I'm depressed all the time.  So what I'm look for is this: Has anyone got off Fioricets by using another medication so that they don't go through withdrawals?  I'm so afraid of the withdrawals!!!
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
i've gotten off fioricet w/ codeine...the problem is that there's no easy way other than determination. you have to understand that fioricet addiction CAN kill you...the danger of barbiturates is very real. infact...as you build a tolerance towards the effects of the drug, you aren't really building a tolerance towards how many you can safely take without OD'ing. that is to say if taking 10 fioricet would kill someone who's never taken it, that number may not be much higher for someone who's taken it for quite a long time...as it would be with other pain meds. the scary thing about barbiurates is how quickly you become addicted and how good they feel once you are addicted...thats why there are virtually no barbiturates left. they've all been discontinued and for very good reason. unless you are taking them for seizures after all other options have been exhausted...then you shouldn't be taking them. the risks are simply too high. fioricet DOES work for migraines...and quite effectively...but it is also very addicting. it's a C III drug which is the same as hydrocodone....and when you add in codeine, the addiction potention is even greater. i've had hydrocodone, xanax, oxycodone...all prescribed for various reasons at some point in my life...and never once had a desire to take them for anything other than they were prescribed. there is something about fioricet w/ codeine that is different than anything i've ever taken.

but like i said.. i was taking at my max about 12 a day...and i was about 13 years old at the time. the only way off was to do it the hard way. i can say this...you think about them  A LOT when you quit taking them...but as time goes on, it gets easier. and eventually it's only a fleeting wish that you could take one...but you have to stick with it because if you don't FORCE yourself to quit taking them, you never will and you may very well kill yourself. the addiction only gets stronger...that much i KNOW from experience. you do not reach a max...you always want more.

anyway...good luck to everyone trying to get off this med.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
This med makes you feel almost drunk. Which I did love for many years but it landed me in the hospital for 10+ days. It's a VERY bad med to be addicted to and even wrost to come off of.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Do NOT just stop taking Fioricet. Just stopping after taking it for 15 years can be FATAL. You MUST take your prescription and taper it down monthly. So if your taking 3-6 a day now...try bringing it down to maybe 2-3 by the end of next month...and then less the next month...it can take UP TO A YEAR to complete this process. however, if you truly want to be able to stop taking a medicine your addicted to: you MUST taper it, if you don't it can be FATAL because your body is used to having the barbituites in large amounts on a daily basis...cardiac arrest is something that can happen very quickly if you just stop taking it cold turkey...anyways, i too take fioricet but i only take one a day for now...i'm going to try and stop taking it as well...
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
OLD POST!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I think my husband my have a problem. He has become a totally different person this past year. He went through a very nasty divorce and his ex is still dragging him through the mud. My husband is a migraine sufferer (takes Imitrex shots on occassion) and he also takes fioricet. I noticed he is taking it much more but I am not sure how much. He keeps the fioricet at work and he never tells me when he refills it so I never know what he is taking. He has daily headaches and his personality towards me and his one son has totally changed. Last year he couldn't have loved me more. He was kind, attentive, loving, caring, warm, affectionate, couldn't get enough of me, the absolute best husband in the world. Now he is angry, irritable, no patience, nasty, doesn't care how I feel or what I think. You can't even talk to him about anything because he is never at fault and always right. He has become controlling, telling me when I can talk or text him. If he is mad, he either totally shuts down and ignores me, or he is nasty. Even when I cry because he has hurt me he is mad. I am at my wits end. I keep trying to work at it because I love this man and I know the good man he is but he is wearing me out. I was on top of the world, happy, positive. Now i just walk around on egg shells. I just don't know what is going on with him. Does this sound like someone who is addicted to fioricet or do you think its just something else? How would I even approach him on it? Thank you so much for your help!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have been on firoicet/codiene for 12 yrsm the doc takes blood work ever 6 month and found severe difficiency in vit. D???? And high cholesteral.... Also elevated prolactin....can I get some feedback please I'm scared of this med cause I'm addicted if I don't take it I feel like I'm going to vomit and pass out, I don't exceed 6 to 8 a day non drinker and smoker, trying to taper down to 6 the doc allows that a day
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
If your ex need to buy some imitrex I have some that I will sell. It is sealed. I cannot take it because of what it does to me. I dont know if he gets it through insurance but if not I can help out.
I have been addicted to firocet and it is a terrible habit to kick. I was hospitalized in 2010 for a week and came out clean but now I am back to taking it again. I was given Depakote for it but it didnt work for the third time in 20 years. I am tired of beeing on this and it taking all my money. It is a terrible addiction.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I just went to see a neurologist after 20 plus years of relying on Fioricet for daily tension headaches. My regular dr retired and the new one would not give them to me because of the rebound headaches it causes- it is a vicious cycle! The neuro. has me on 6 different drugs to wean me off of the Fioricet, plus try to get me headache free. I just started two days ago on Topamax, Tramadol, Phenobarbital and Compazine for the nausea of withdrawl (withdrawal). I hope to God it works. I cannot live the rest of my life with headaches every day. I'll keep you posted on whether it works or not.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My God! Run from the Tramadol...  You need to Google the side effects, there are people that say its worse than Hydros to come off of.  I have about 180 Tramadol right beside me and found out they were causing auditory halucinations and can cause Grand Mal seizures.  They are billed as the un-narcotic.  Yet, they are synthetic opiods.  They do nothing for the kidney stone pain or the neuropathy that I am having since a botched surgery.  Run from them.  I do not have an alternative to tell you; but tell your Dr. that you are concerned.  Don't believe me, look it up for yourself.  I am typing this at 0227 in the morning, because it makes my insomnia worse....
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
i'm finding myself anxious and depressed after taking fioricet with codeine for 20+ years think there's a correlation? I want to wean!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
i have been on fiorcet with coedine for 13 years. i only take 1 a day and that always hasn't been that way. But i now take them even when i don't have a headache because it calms me down. i know that i am addicted. i have been becoming more honest with my dr. who referred me to a neurosurgeon. he told me how to start tapering off of them but i cannot do it. i have no willpower over this drug. i know that i shouldn't get on the internet because i start to friek out about all of the things that i read about it. i am at a loss as to what to do. i am a person who never even liked to take aspirin so this is really making me very distraught.
Blank
4341997_tn?1380655144
Hi sponge1...this is a really old thread so not many people will see it....go to the top and click "ask a question"....you can start your own thread then and get lots of support....we have all been where you are at some point...you just need to post and let other people come along and give you advice and support...this is a great site for that.  good luck with it all!!  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
thank you so much.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I've been an addict for 20 yrs I'm now 31 w a beautiful 7yr old.im a single mom things are hard.startrd w pain pill zans msg ect give years ago heroine and meth and whatever.ispend alday trying to find a vein.luckeily I'm still real pretty haha!anyways I got on methadone ,it saved me iv been clean heroine ect year3months but am in bed bawling comming off methadone and toplax however **** u spell it.been to Er 3x they have me 5tylenlol 3 thanks jack *****.im twitching ,legs kicking I'm going on 3wks I just pray!icry uncontrollably my question is how much longer what will help me I m done w drugs help me kick this please people
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
Top Addiction Answerers
6942344_tn?1410169826
Blank
Amandag78
Perth, Australia
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
motye51
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
gnarly_1
phoenix, AZ
495284_tn?1333897642
Blank
dominosarah
City of Dominatrix, MN
2083449_tn?1381358308
Blank
Sonrissa
NV
4810126_tn?1409496012
Blank
EvolverU
Boston, MA