OriginalDrugs

Fioricet 50/325/40 Price

  • Generic name: Butalbital APAP Caffeine
  • Brand names: Fioricet, Esgic
  • Class: Combined non-narcotic analgesic, Butalbital-containing analgesic

What is Fioricet used for?

  • Tension headaches
  • Migraine headaches
  • Shoulder and upper back pain

Fioricet pictures

Brand Fioricet and some of its generic equivalents look like the following:

Original Fioricet comes as round blue tablets
Imprint: 3 head profile
Manufacturer: Watson

watson fioricet

Round blue tablets
Imprint: West-ward 787
Manufacturer: West-Ward pharmaceuticals

blue westward fioricet

Round white tablets
Imprint: 2355
Manufacturer: Qualitest

qualitest butalbital

White round tablets
Imprint: WATSON 3369
Manufacturer: Watson

watson 3369

White oval tablets
Imprint: 3416 WPI
Manufacturer: Watson

watson butalbital

Generic Fioricet: WestWard 787 vs Watson 3369

Is Butalbital APAP Caffeine manufactured by West-Ward preferable over Watson's? Actually, for many people blue West-ward 787 pills work better than white Watson pills.

Read more about what brand works better.

How long does Fioricet take to work?

Fioricet works quite quickly - within 20-30 minutes the headache is usually gone.

Read more about Fioricet users' experience.

Contraindications

  • Porphyria (enzyme disorder)
  • Intolerance to acetaminophen, butalbital, or caffeine.

Risk of Abuse and Dependence. Butalbital is a habit-forming and potentially abusable. Frequent or prolonged use can lead to "rebound" headaches, tolerance, and mental or physical dependence.

Frequent use may fail to provide pain relief and worsen headache symptoms.

Butalbital slows the central nervous system and intensifies the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants.

Schedule status

Butalbital/APAP/Caffeine is Not a federally controlled substance.

However, butalbital compounds have scheduled status in several states. In Florida butalbital-containing analgesics are controlled substances listed in Schedule III in Section 893.03(3), Florida Statutes.

Fioricet vs Fiorinal

Fioricet contains: 325 mg of acetaminophen (APAP), 50 mg of butalbital, and 40 mg of caffeine.

Fiorinal contains: 325 mg of aspirin (ASA), 50 mg of butalbital, and 40 mg of caffeine.

The only difference between these two is the aspirin in Fiorinal vs acetaminophen in Fioricet.

The interesting thing is that Fiorinal is a scheduled class III substance, while Fioricet has a non-scheduled status. It seems really strange because both combinations contain equal amount of the controlled substance butalbital.

Why is Fiorinal considered a controlled substance while Fioricet is not?

Exceptions from the scheduling have been made if the drug meets the requirements of section 811(g) (3) (A) of the Controlled Substances Act2. The exemption requires that one of the active ingredients be a non-narcotic controlled substance and one of the others be a non-scheduled compound. The potential for abuse is decreased if a sufficient amount of a non-controlled substance (e.g., aspirin or acetaminophenn) is added. The ratio required for exemption is 70 mg of acetaminophen to 15 mg of butalbital. In contrast, the ratio of aspirin to butalbital is 188 mg to 15 mg.

The acetaminophen to butalbital ratio is approximately 97 mg to 15 mg in Fioricet, thus it is exempt from scheduling1. In Fiorinal the aspirin to butalbital ratio is approximately 97 mg to 15 mg, which is less than the 188mg:15mg ratio, so it is classified as a Schedule III substance.

Further reading

References

  • 1. Exempt Prescription Products List PDF
  • 2. Section 811. Authority and Criteria for Classification of Substances. DEA

Last updated: February, 2015

Good to know
  • In 2003 Watson Pharmaceuticals, the 5th largest pharmaceutical company, acquired the U.S. marketing rights to the Fioricet and Fiorinal, for $178 million from Novartis.
  • Butalbital APAP caffeine is useful for migraine management when taken before lying down in a dark room (due to its sedative effects).