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20867478 tn?1552394566

Why is my fioricet withdrawal lasting so long?

I have a Rx for 30 Fioricet each month. I usually take all of it within about 10-15 days (hormonal headaches). So, I take 1-4 over the course of those days. When I notice I'm getting close to running out, I back off and drop it down to 2 a day for about three days, then 1 a day for three, then a half for three. Never had a problem with this until this month.

When I dropped from 4 to 2 tabs (took 2 in AM and 2 in PM, dropped the PM dose), I noticed significant dizziness and fogginess in the evening. I took OTC tension headache (tylenol/caffeine) for a few days to ameliorate the rebound headache in PM. I stopped the PM dose nine days ago and am sort of starting to feel better, I guess.

When I dropped the 2 AM tabs to 1 tab, I started to have the dizziness in the mornings and then lasting all day (I did that 6 days ago). I dropped to 1/2 tab 3 days ago. Still dizzy/foggy. It is hard to concentrate and my patience is short. The drop from 2 to 1 tab gave me nausea and diarrhea for one day. Today is the first day with none.

I do take 1mg of clonazepam twice a day, so that helps a bit. But WHY am I having such significant issues after being on the fioricet for such a short amount of time? I know I taper relatively quickly, but a long taper seems somewhat unnecessary due to the short time I'm taking it. I understand half-life of medication and other aspects of pharmacology, so I realize the symptom onset is about a day after stopping a dose.

Just wondering if anyone has any idea how long this will last. My next refill is in 13 days. I don't plan on taking more than 2 a day from now on because of this experience.
2 Responses
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
Fioricet has a barbiturate in it along with caffeine.  Please be very careful with these pills.  Withdrawals can last a long time with these.  How long have you been taking these?
2 Comments
Hi, thanks for replying.

I thought I was being careful. Sigh.

I’ve had this prescription for over a year. First find I’ve had an issue.
*time, not find
20867478 tn?1552394566
Just wanted to say that I didn't have any dizziness last night (about 10 days after cutting out the evening dose). This morning I took 2mg Klonopin instead of the usual 1mg since I'm off Fioricet completely as of yesterday. Since benzos and barbiturates are similar, I figure there might be some cross-coverage with the benzo. I feel I will be better soon, but this has been quite the harbinger of what could happen if I take excessive amounts of butalbital long-term. Very unpleasant past week.
7 Comments
Have you always had headaches?  
I’ve always been headache-prone but they’ve gotten worse over the years into my 40s. I’ve had imaging and such done and tried triptans but can not tolerate them. I can reasonably manage with OTC meds, but NSAID usage was increasing, thus the fioricet.

Maybe Botox...
The problem with staying on the floricet long term are the rebound effects of the headaches. So the cycle continues. I have read some good things about botox & headache.
Have you ruled out allergies to address the headaches?
Error^^^^^^^
. The rebound headaches
I just saw how Botox is helping with headaches.  I believe it was on the news.
Hi there-  I just saw the message you left for me so I’m sorry to be late in replying.
A couple of things jump out at me.  Fioricet is a prn drug at best. It’s not meant to be taken daily over a long period of time. Also, the way you take it is hurting you. Keeping a high blood level of the drug for days and then dropping the dose by 50% and then 50% again is going to cause some symptoms.
You’re right about the Klonopin. It does cover the same brain receptors as Fioricet but in a slightly different way. You’ll still be symptomatic from the decrease in dose.
I like your plan of taking no more than two tabs per day. One per day would be even better and not everyday. The optimum would be to not take it at all!
As a former long term user of this drug, I can tell you it gets nasty over time.
Definitely give Botox a try. I think it works pretty well. I use OTC meds and switch them up. Motrin, Advil, aspirin. But I don’t have nearly the headaches I used to have when I took Fioricet. After a while it causes headaches!  Go figure-
Good luck with all of this! I’d try to find a substitute for the Klonopin, as well.  These drugs were meant to be more of a “one off” and not for continued, daily use.
Sorry! I didn’t see the notification for these replies.

Yes, I take Allegra for allergies. My main culprit is hormones but I definitely get headaches from allergies too.

I hate taking the klonopin daily but I have a severe anxiety issue. I’m working on it. I will try to keep the fioricet prn. I may not even refill it. It’s too problematic.
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