What is Fioricet and what is the Mechanism of action of Fioricet

  • Active ingredient: Butalbital/Acetaminophen/Caffeine
  • Common brand names: Fioricet, Alagesic, Amaphen, Americet, Anolor, Anoquan, Arcet, Butace, Endolor, Esgic, Esgic Plus, Ezol, Medigesic, Pacaps, Repan, Tencet, Zebutal
  • Drug class: Combined Analgesic
    Butalbital – barbiturate
    Acetaminophen – analgesic, fever reducer
    Caffeine – stimulant
  • FDA Approved: November, 09, 1984
  • Chemical Formula:
    Butalbital: C11H16N2O3
    Acetaminophen: C8H9NO2
    Caffeine: C8H10N4O2
  • Pregnancy Category: C
  • Habit forming? Possibly


Butalbital has generalized depressant effect on CNS and, in very high doses, has peripheral effects. Acetaminophen has analgesic and antipyretic effects; its analgesic effects may be mediated through inhibition of prostaglandin synthetase enzyme complex. Caffeine is thought to produce constriction of cerebral blood vessels.

Butalbital has generalized depressant effect on central nervous system and, in very high doses, has peripheral effects. Acetaminophen has analgesic and antipyretic effects mediated by a metabolite which acts atcannabinoid receptors, contrary to popular belief it is not an antiinflammatory at safe levels (it becomes toxic at doses above 1,000mg per dose and/or 3,000mg per day). Caffeine is thought to produce constriction ofcerebral blood vessels and serves to counteract the sedative effect of butalbital.

Butalbital has a half-life of about 35 hours. Acetaminophen has a half-life of about 1.25 to 3 hours, but may be increased by liver damage and after an overdose. Caffeine has a half-life of about 5 to 7 hours

Fioricet is well established, proven brand that was introduced in the US in the mid 1980s. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. acquired the United States rights to the Fioricet® and Fiorinal® lines for $178 million from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in 2003. Fioricet® and Fiorinal® are based on combinations of popular pain relief compounds and are used for tension headaches:

  • Fioricet ® (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine)
  • Fioricet ® with Codeine CIII (butalbital, acetaminophen, caffeine, codeine phosphate)
  • Fiorinal ® (butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine)
  • Fiorinal ® with Codeine (butalbital, aspirin, caffeine and codeine phosphate)

watsonfioricet2Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Corona, California, is a leading specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, markets and distributes branded and generic pharmaceuticals. Watson pursues a growth strategy combining internal development, strategic alliances and collaborations and synergistic acquisitions of products and businesses.

The divestiture of Fioricet ® and Fiorinal ® allows Novartis Pharmaceuticals to focus further on its primary mission of introducing innovative new medicines across several therapeutic areas.

What we can sell is the Mikart Fioricet if you chose to buy it.