There haven’t been enough strong clinical studies looking at Fioricet and its effects on pregnancy, so it’s not completely known how safe it is during pregnancy. A study found that Fioricet could potentially raise the risk of heart problems in unborn babies. In addition, there has been a report of a newborn experiencing withdrawal seizures at birth. This is likely related to the fact the mother took a medication with butalbital during the last two months of pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, discuss the risks and benefits of using Fioricet with your provider.
What Is Fioricet?
Fioricet is the brand for a combination medication with FDA approval to treat some types of tension headaches. It helps relax muscle contractions involved with tension headaches and has been used extensively off-lave; for migraines. Fioricet contains a blend of:
- Butalbital (50mg): A type of barbiturate that helps with muscle relaxation
- Acetaminophen (300mg): An over-the-counter analgesic that helps to relieve pain
- Caffeine (40mg): Added to enhance the effects of acetaminophen
Some types of Fioricet also contain codeine, a potent narcotic and opioid used to treat pain.
What are the risks and warnings for Fioricet?
Do not use Fioricet if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
You should not use Fioricet if you are allergic to it, if you have porphyria, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other opioids.
To make sure Fioricet is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver disease, cirrhosis, a history of alcoholism or drug addiction, or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day;
- kidney disease;
- stomach ulcer or bleeding;
- a history of skin rash caused by any medication; or
- a history of mental illness or suicidal thoughts.
It is not known whether Fioricet will harm an unborn baby. If you use butalbital while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.
Fioricet is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.