Fiorinal is a medication that contains aspirin, butalbital, and caffeine. While two of the main ingredients in the drug are mild and can be purchased over-the-counter, the butalbital present in the medication can cause euphoria if taken in large doses. This puts the drug in danger of abuse. Those who misuse their Fiorinal prescriptions-or someone else’s-can expect serious consequences, addiction being chief among them.
As stated by DailyMed, “Pharmacologically, Fiorinal combines the analgesic properties of aspirin with the anxiolytic and muscle relaxant properties of butalbital.” Together, these two drugs-in addition to caffeine-create an effect that reduces tension headaches. However, Fiorinal has been considered dangerous for its high potential of abuse, and those who take it need to be very careful not to misuse their medication.
Patients can take Fiorinal every four hours as needed, according to the National Library of Medicine, but the butalbital in the drug can create tolerance and dependence when a person takes it consistently for a long period of time. Fiorinal users should stay in continuous contact with their doctors and should never take the medication more than necessary or in higher doses than prescribed.
Signs and Symptoms of Fiorinal Use
This medication can cause drowsiness as well as confusion in those who take it. Sometimes, if the dose is too high, the individual will begin to feel intoxicated. If this has happened to you, it is important to talk to your doctor right away and to make sure your dosage is lowered. Other common side effects include:
- Stomach Pain
Patients are commonly told not to drive while on Fiorinal and not to participate in strenuous activities or activities that require strong concentration. The drug does not usually have serious side effects when taken at therapeutic doses, but it can make one very sleepy and groggy.
Risks of Fiorinal Use
There are other, more serious risks associated with Fiorinal as well. Ringing in the ears can be a sign of a severe reaction to the medication, as can black or bloody stool. If you experience either of these issues, it is imperative that you speak to your doctor right away.
As stated above, the butalbital in the medication can also cause tolerance and dependence in those who take it over a long period of time. This means you should never suddenly stop taking Fiorinal without a doctor’s permission and that you must allow yourself to be weaned slowly off the medication. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, barbiturates like butalbital and other CNS depressants can cause delirium and seizures in those who suddenly stop taking them.
Fiorinal can also cause issues because of the aspirin in the drug. Anaphylactic shock and other allergic reactions can occur in those who have aspirin allergies, and patients with peptic ulcers can experience bleeding as a result of taking aspirin. However, as stated previously, the issue of abuse is caused by the butalbital present in the drug.
Fiorinal abuse is serious; the butalbital in the drug is habit-forming, meaning that someone who takes large doses of the medication over a long period of time is likely to become addicted. This is one of the reasons why doctors are often reluctant to prescribe Fiorinal for tension headaches and would rather prescribe another, less problematic drug. According to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, the use of this medication is watched closely, and those who have a history of abuse are not recommended to begin taking it.
Fiorinal Addiction and Treatment
If you believe you have become addicted to Fiorinal, it is important to seek treatment immediately. You will need to be weaned off the medication slowly so as not to experience any severe withdrawal symptoms, but detox alone is not addiction treatment. You will also need to attend rehab where different behavioral therapy methods will be utilized to help put an end to your substance abuse and teach you better life skills for your recovery.
You can take Fiorinal as prescribed and will likely experience few to no side effects. But because the abuse of the drug is so dangerous, you must be extremely careful with your Fiorinal prescription and stay in constant contact with your doctor while taking this medication.