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sarahfnp-bc, Family Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 408
Experience:  OB, L&D, ER, and family practice, addictions treatment and detox with methadone and suboxone.
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I was prescribed Fioricet approx. 8 years ago (at age 24)

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I was prescribed Fioricet approx. 8 years ago (at age 24) for tension and migraine headaches. After continuous use, I am now taking up to 8 pills a day every day with decreasing effectiveness. The pills were effective in preventing migraines through graduate school and in obtaining my doctorate degree and now I have a very successful professional career. However, at this point, I would rather deal with the pain than continue to take the pills. The medication is not a narcotic and I am told that typical rehad treatment is not designed for this type of situation. Further, my career does not allow for taking extended time off work. I do have withdrawal symptoms when I quit taking the Fioricet and would like to find a doctor to assist in detoxing from this medication. What are your recommendations?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  sarahfnp-bc replied 9 years ago.
Hi! There are two types of fiorcet one with codeine and one without. I assume since you said it's not a narcotic you are taking the one without codeine. But regardless it is a controlled substance and it is physiologically and physically addicting as it has a barbiturate in it. So I am not surprised that you have withdrawal symptoms. Not just from the barbiturate but from the caffeine is well as that is one of the other ingredients. Rehabs are designed to treat addiction. I have treated many people in my rehab who are coming off fiorcet. There are in patient treatment centers and out. Usually the out patient treatment centers are referred to IOP's. Intensive out patient. There is also NA and AA. So once you get over the withdrawal or find you can't quit long enough to withdrawal you might consider one of these.

There are a couple of ways to detox. The first way is to wean off them. If you take 8 a day you go to 6 for two days then 4 for 2 days then 2 for 3 days then off. This is typically never successful in people with true addictions. Once you put a substance or your drug of choice into your body you loose the power to stop it or control it for any length of time.

The other way is to talk to your doctor. A lot of times we treat the detox with non-narcotic non habit forming drugs such as clonidine, neurontin, robaxin, and others. These meds can greatly reduce the symptoms.

Of course there is a third and that's cold turkey. But as you are aware it is very uncomfortable and can take time. Especially getting a regular sleep cycle back.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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