Is Fioricet a controlled substance? 

Is Fioricet a controlled substance? 

Yes, Fioricet is a controlled substance because it contains Butalbital, which is a Scheduled III drug. Fioricet is actually a combination medication, which also contains Acetaminophen and Caffeine (1). 

Butalbital is a Barbiturate, an entire class of which are considered controlled drugs and drugs of abuse. The presence of Butalbital makes Fioricet a controlled substance, as the rest of the ingredients are not considered drugs of abuse (2). 

This is why Fioricet is detected in a standard drug test and should not be taken if not prescribed by a registered healthcare professional.

What are the signs and symptoms caused by Fioricet abuse? 

When Fioricet is used as a drug of abuse, it causes the following signs and symptoms:

  • Euphoria 
  • Confusion 
  • Sleepiness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness 
  • Nausea 
  • Shakiness 
  • Headache 
  • Restlessness 
  • Blackouts 

The above-mentioned symptoms vary from person to person and depend on the amount of Fioricet taken. Butalbital is an intermediate-acting barbiturate and can cause respiratory depression, which is one of the most concerning side effects of this medication. 

Although people with an existing breathing disorder are more sensitive to this side effect, higher doses of this medication can induce respiratory depression in healthy individuals as well. Seek immediate medical attention if you feel tightness in your chest and difficulty breathing. 

Fioricet should not be used for pains that can be managed without a drug of abuse, such as muscle cramps, toothaches, menstrual cramps, etc.

How to get rid of Fioricet abuse? 

If Fioricet is prescribed by your healthcare provider, reach out to him/her and apprise your doctor about how you’re misusing the medication. 

As it is not recommended to stop such medications abruptly, your doctor will begin to gradually decrease your dose to make your body adjust to lesser doses of Fioricet, before stopping this medication altogether.

You’re not supposed to feel this way by just taking the prescribed doses, it’s the overdose that gets people to this stage. Make sure you take these meds properly in order to avoid getting addicted. 

Once you have, you shouldn’t keep it from your doctor as he/she can help you get over this addiction. Long-term use of Barbiturates can cause life-threatening side effects. 

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Butalbital, Acetaminophen, and Caffeine: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US). [updated 2021 Sep 15; cited 2023 Feb 11]. Available from:


PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 2481, Butalbital; [cited 2023 Feb 11]. Available from: