Fioricet contains: 325 mg of acetaminophen (APAP), 50 mg of butalbital, and 40 mg of caffeine.

New capsule reformulation of Fioricet contains: 300 mg of acetaminophen (APAP), 50 mg of butalbital, and 40 mg of caffeine.

Fiorinal contains: 325 mg of aspirin (ASA), 50 mg of butalbital, and 40 mg of caffeine.

The only difference between these two is the aspirin in Fiorinal vs acetaminophen in Fioricet.

The interesting thing is that Fiorinal is a scheduled class III substance, while Fioricet has a non-scheduled status. It seems really strange because both combinations contain equal amount of the controlled substance butalbital.

Exceptions from the scheduling have been made if the drug meets the requirements of section 811(g) (3) (A) of the Controlled Substances Act. The exemption requires that one of the active ingredients be a non-narcotic controlled substance and one of the others be a non-scheduled compound. The potential for abuse is decreased if a sufficient amount of a non-controlled substance (e.g., aspirin or acetaminophen) is added.

According to the FDA, the issue boils down to a specific ratio of aspirin or acetaminophen to butalbital. Fiorinal® is required to have at least 188 mg of aspirin for every 15 mg of butalbital (188:15) to meet CSA exemption. The ratio needed for Fioricet® is 70 mg of acetaminophen for every 15 mg of butalbital (70:15). These ratios were based on what the FDA believed were adequate amounts of nonnarcotic to reduce the abuse potential of butalbital.

The acetaminophen to butalbital ratio in new and old formulation of Fioricet:

Old formulation:

325 mg Acetaminophen / 50 mg Butalbital

97 mg Acetaminophen to 15 mg Butalbital (To be exempt, ration requires at least 70 mg or more Acetaminophen for every 15 mg Butalbital included in formulation.

New Formulation:

300 mg Acetaminophen / 50 mg Butalbital

90 mg Acetaminophen to 15 mg Butalbital (To be exempt, ration requires at least 70 mg or more Acetaminophen for every 15 mg Butalbital included in formulation.

So both new and old formulation of Fioricet by law shall be exempt from controlled substance requirements.

The aspirin to butalbital ratio in Fiorinal:

325 mg Aspirin / 50 mg Butalbital

97 mg Aspirin to 15 mg Butalbital (To be exempt, ration requires at least 188 mg or more Aspirin for every 15 mg Butalbital included in formulation.

Therefore Fiorinal is classified as a Schedule III substance.

Citation:

1. Section 811(g)(3)(A) Controlled Substances Act                
2. http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/exempt/exempt_rx_list.pdf
3. http://www.communitymedical.org/sites/default/files/library/files/2014_04_physicians_edition.pdf



**Please note: Under the following states law, Fioricet is classified as a Schedule III controlled drug. **

  1. Georgia
  2. Maryland
  3. New Mexico
  4. Utah
  5. Illinois
  6. Rhode Island
  7. West Virginia




Member Comments

Comment 59 from Anonymous, on 08/06/15
Fiorinal is a controlled substance because it has codeine in it!

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Comment 91 from Anonymous, on 04/15/16 - Reply to Comment 59
Fiorinal also comes without codeine.

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Comment 98 from Anonymous, on 08/21/16 - Reply to Comment 59
No it doesn't contain codeine, the difference is it has aspirin . Not Tylenol

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Comment 100 from Anonymous, on 09/07/16 - Reply to Comment 59
Fiorinal does not contain codeine. One can still get fioricet with codeine in it. Fiorinal is still a federally controlled drug because of the aspirin and how it chemically effects phenobarbital. In fact it has been found to increase the effects of phenobarbital it has nothing to do with codeine.

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Comment 130 from Anonymous, on 09/21/17 - Reply to Comment 59
Fiornal does not contain codeine. I take it. I've taken Fiornall #3 ( with codenine) for over 30 years. Very addictive. I take the plan Fiornal now for migranes

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Comment 1138 from Anonymous, on 02/07/18 - Reply to Comment 59
Fiorinal has aspirin/butalbital/caffeine You can add codeine Fioricet has acetaminophen (Tylenol)/butalbital/caffeine. You can then add codeine to it as well Fiorinal is considered scheduled III due to the ratio of butalbital and aspirin.

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Comment 1140 from Anonymous, on 02/22/18 - Reply to Comment 59
Fiorinal is also available without codeine. Both are schedule III drugs.

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Comment 1142 from Anonymous, on 04/07/18 - Reply to Comment 59
The laws around controlled substances are extremely nit picky. For example, often people think Fiorinal is a CS III drug, because it has Codeine in it, but it doesn't. Check your facts: Fiorinal only has Codeine if the doctor writes the script for Fiorinal with Codeine. The reason Fiorinal is a CS III, has to do with the ratio of aspirin to the butalbital. It is suppose to have a ratio of 188 mgs of aspirin to every 15 mgs of butalbital in order to be exempt from the CS status. It only has 97 mgs of aspirin to 15 mgs of butalbital. That's why it's controlled, not because it always contains Codeine.

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Comment 61 from Anonymous, on 08/12/15
No it is not true. Fiorinal does not contain Codeine. It contains Aspirin, Butalbital and Caffeine. Fiorinal With Codeine contains Codeine.

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Comment 62 from Anonymous, on 09/09/15
Do Fioricet with codeine and Fiorinol w/codeine have to be written on different scripts?? Like Hydrocodone or Methadone. Are they higher schedule now?

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Comment 63 from Anonymous, on 09/09/15 - Reply to Comment 62
It depends on which state these prescriptions are written. Differant states have differant rules about writing controlled substance prescriptions.

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Comment 92 from Anonymous, on 05/03/16
West Virginia has clarified that fioricet is schedule III under the state controlled substance law.

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Comment 93 from Anonymous, on 05/19/16
Fioricet #3 has caffeine, Tylenol, barbiturate and codeine. Fioricet has all but codeine. Same for fiorinal #3 but has aspirin instead of Tylenol

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Comment 107 from Anonymous, on 12/07/16
Both fioricet and fiorinal have been my best migraine MEDS. I have taken both for over 30 years. Without codeine. Best relief i had. BEEN ON MORPHINE DARVOCET PERCOCET IMITREX ECT... AND HAD SEVERELY ALLERGIC REACTIONS.

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Comment 124 from Anonymous, on 04/30/17 - Reply to Comment 107
I agree. I have tried everything for 50 years and the only thing that allows me to function until I can sleep is fiorinal.

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Comment 125 from Anonymous, on 04/30/17
what is butalbital called with codeine in it? also, what is the difference between butalbital without codeine and phenobarbital?

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Comment 126 from Anonymous, on 06/16/17
I would like to present this information to some students, but I would like a reference regarding the specific ratios of butalbital to aspirin (188:15) and to acetaminophen (70:15)? I didn't see this in section 811(g)(3)(A).

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Comment 131 from Anonymous, on 10/07/17
I thought they were both schedule III because in the Fioricet, the acetaminophen increased the effects of the butalbital

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Comment 133 from Anonymous, on 10/20/17
You should also be aware that Fioricet can be bought online without an Rx. Yes, the DEA knows.

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