After the administration of the combined analgesic Fioricet, side effects may occur. However, they are mostly eliminated in one of the following ways: by changing the dosage, by replacing the drug with another analgesic, or by using other methods of anti-migraine therapy.
Unlike other potentially life-threatening pain medications, Fioricet does not have a pronounced negative impact and is well tolerated by patients. The onset of unwanted reactions is not an occasion for self-abolition of the drug.
The most common Fioricet side effects can be divided into two groups:
- Gastrointestinal: nausea, emesis and stomach cramps
- Psychiatric: drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness and confusion
Still, even if some adverse reactions are indicated in the instructions as “frequently observed”, they not necessarily arise in each individual patient. The negative impact of Fioricet can manifest only in 1 of 10 people who take the medicine.
In very rare cases, the side effects of Fioricet can occur on an ongoing basis. In addition to information on the frequency of occurrence, it is important to know how serious is an undesirable effect for your body. All listed adverse reactions of Fioricet are frequent, yet easily tolerable.
The frequency of occurrence and severity of adverse reactions are influenced by such factors, as:
- coexisting illnesses
- drug interactions
- dosage and administration route
In clinical studies, the gastrointestinal side effects of Fioricet were less common than with other analgesics. Nevertheless, digestion problems significantly worsen patient’s life quality and require careful monitoring of patient’s condition.
Dopamine is one of the major neurotransmitters, involved in the pathogenesis of nausea and vomiting. Fioricet has a significant effect on AMPA receptors, which play a key role in maintaining the concentration of the neurotransmitter. Dopamine level surges contribute to sickness and vomiting – the most frequent gastrointestinal side effects of the drug.
Gastrointestinal intolerance is a common event in Fioricet treatment. Nausea and vomiting are the most serious gastrointestinal effects of the drug use in 70-80% of patients. The number of attacks of nausea and emesis may increase due to the fact that Fioricet tablets or capsules should be taken several times a day.
Following the nausea and vomiting, the list of the most common gastrointestinal side effects of Fioricet indicates gastric colic and diarrhea. The severity of adverse reactions from the gastrointestinal tract varies depending on the dose of Fioricet and the individual patient’s characteristics. However, people does not need additional antiemetic therapy while using this analgesic.
The variety of therapeutic effects of Fioricet (analgesic, psychostimulating, vasodilating and others) explains the fact that the negative effect of the drug on the nervous system is more pronounced, than that on the digestive system.
After the ingestion, Fioricet chemically reacts with sodium ions. As a result, the concentration of sodium salt in the body decreases. Deficiency of sodium causes the disturbance of circulation of neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin and others.
Deficiency of neurotransmitters is the reason for such psychical side effects of Fioricet, as drowsiness, decreased alertness, lightheadedness and a sense of intoxication.
Drowsiness and reduced vigilance arise only at the initial stage of Fioricet treatment. The more the patient’s body adapts to the drug action, the fewer side effects of Fioricet will manifest. However, Fioricet is capable of rarely causing long-term problems with sleep or mental state, due to which some patients are forced to stop taking the drug.
Patients, who experience unusual sleepiness while using Fioricet, should:
- reduce the dose of the drug;
- combine rest with moderate physical activity;
- refrain from prolonged driving and control of complex machinery.
Rare psychic side effects of Fioricet, such as overexcitation, fatigue, are possible with an overdose of the drug. High doses of Fioricet may rarely cause hallucinations.
Unlike other combined analgesics, which are characterized by increased cardiotoxicity, Fioricet causes almost no cardiovascular side effects. When the drug is used in therapeutic doses, unwanted reactions from the cardiovascular system are not clinically significant.
Negative effects on the cardiovascular system are observed only in patients, who suffer from bronchial obstruction. Yet, the risk of cardiotoxicity significantly increases, if you take Fioricet with other pain medications.
Rare, but potentially harmful to the health side effects of Fioricet are: fainting, anaphylactic shock, serotonin syndrome, seizures, impaired renal function or hepatotoxicity.
The risk of these unwanted reactions is usually very low – less than in 1 of 100 people. Therefore, patients should not fear of the negative effects of Fioricet in advance.
Fioricet does not contribute to a weight gain. Conversely, this combined analgesic can lead to loss of appetite and a slight weight loss. Some unwanted reactions are so weak that they can hardly be noticed. Minor side effects of Fioricet are dry mouth, heartburn, fatigue, nasal congestion or tinnitus.