Butalbital Addiction

Are you or a loved one becoming addicted to Butalbital? Learn how to spot the warning signs of Butalbital addiction

Butalbital is a barbiturate similar to Phenobarbital, which is a central nervous system depressant that relieves pain by relaxing muscles under tension and sedating an individual’s ability to feel sensation. Butalbital is a component of the drugs Fiorinal and Fioricet. When combined with caffeine and an analgesic such as acetaminophen or aspirin, Butalbital can effectively manage the symptoms of migraine. While it was once thought that Butalbital and other barbiturates were less addictive than opiates, Butalbital is actually extremely addictive and leads to dependency. Butalbital withdrawal symptoms can be severe and the longer someone abuses Fioricet, the more difficult it is to overcome the addiction. Learning how to spot Fioricet abuse signs and symptoms early can help increase an individual’s chance for a successful long-term recovery.

How Butalbital addiction develops

Addiction to Butalbital is generally seen in patients who were prescribed the drug for a legitimate reason, such as chronic pain or migraines. Fioricet and other Butalbital-containing drugs are intended to be prescribed for only intermittent use and taken for short periods of time to control pain from occasional migraines or other sources. When Fioricet is taken on a regular basis for even as short a time as two weeks, the body’s craving for Butalbital creates intense physical and psychological dependence. Butalbital addiction sets in as patients start to take increasingly larger doses to obtain the same effects.

Fioricet abuse signs and symptoms

The patient’s body quickly begins to see the Butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine in Fioricet as something to be expected, and quickly begins to adjust to them. The initial feelings of sedation and euphoria patients felt upon taking Fioricet dissipate and patients need larger doses to experience those same effects. The patient’s body begins to need the drug to function normally, and withdrawal symptoms set in quickly whenever Fioricet use is decreased. Addicted individuals begin to experience recurring, agonizing headaches that need increasingly larger doses of Fioricet to alleviate.

Patients begin to need larger doses of Fioricet simply to function, and they often start doctor shopping to obtain more prescriptions. As addiction to Butalbital progresses, individuals can begin to focus obsessively on obtaining the drug. Once Fioricet addiction has progressed to this stage, addicted individuals are generally unable to stop abusing the drug without the help of an addiction treatment center.

Butalbital withdrawal treatment

Addiction treatment for Fioricet begins with detoxification.  Withdrawal symptoms from Butalbital can be severe and even life threatening, so addicted individuals are urged to seek medically supervised Butalbital withdrawal treatment. Butalbital withdrawal symptoms include sweating, severe muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and convulsions. Individuals may experience hallucinations, delirium, and seizures. These Butalbital withdrawal symptoms can develop twelve to twenty-four hours after the last dose of Fioricet, and linger for as long as sixteen days. Medically supervised Butalbital withdrawal treatment often includes the administration of medication to help manage these symptoms so they are less severe.

Fioricet addiction treatment

Once detox from Butalbital has commenced, individuals should complete drug addiction treatment to complete their recovery from Fioricet abuse. This can take place on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Patients will receive group and individual counseling, addiction education, and learn relapse prevention strategies that will help ensure long-term recovery.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.