Fiorinal With Codeine #3


I've been taking 4 capsules per day for migraines and pain control. I've been taking this drug for 30 years and it seems like the only thing that works yet allows me to be productive. Since the unavailability issues about a year ago, it seems like they are now not as effective. It feels like they don't have the same amount of active ingredient. I agree that Watson was the best generic I tried. Does anybody know which manufacturer may be better to get from? I find I've been needing more like 6 per day and still am not getting the same relief. Any ideas?

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Hello, Diana! How are you? I'm sorry about the problem that you're having.

At this point, it might be better to just try a different medication. So far, no one who's posted has had good results from any of the generics and there aren't that many available.

What other medications have you tried for your migraines and pain?

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Hi Verwon! Thanks for your reply. I've tried most all the traditional migraine meds for the injectibles (ex. Imitrex, etc.) to the newer ones even including Cymbatol, which was a long-shot but was worth the try. I can't use acetoimophine (sp?) because I get stomach upset. (Yea, I can take codeine, but not Tylenol.) I've even tried to get "brand name", but I think at this point there is not actually a brand name. Many think AsComp is brand name, but it is not. I'm open to any suggestions!! I don't know what else to try and my doc doesn't either. Thanks and have a great holiday!

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I have been taking fiorinal with codeine capsules for 20 years made by Watson and get "Brand". For the past 6 months, about 3 of my refills have been making me feel "worse" after I take them. I get dizzy, pressure in my temples, and feel sick until they wear off. It seems like manufacturer changed the formula or added or deleted something. I told my pharmacist, and he suggested to try another manufacturer. Can anyone tell me what brand works for them? I would also take a generic if it works. I have tried "Lannett" , but they didn't work AT ALL. HELP!

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After my post this morning, I will ask for a generic made by "Brekenridge" which seemed to give some relief after awhile which I tried last year. That's providing Walgreens can get it for me. I don't trust Watson anymore as they were making me feel worse instead of better. All this stress over these pills is giving me a worse headache. Anyone have any suggestions as to what to get at this point. Seems like a lot of people are having problems the last year with this drug. Thanks!

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I feel for you, Mickey. I too, am finding no solution to getting decent Fiornal w/Codeine. I wish I could afford to have my script analyzed. It's so obvious they are not the same for the past 1-1/2 to 2 years. I'm going to keep trying though! And I'm going to try the brand you suggested...I've never heard of that one. Good Luck!!

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Hi Diana - Thanks sooo much for your answer. Yesterday, after taking another Watson Brand capsule and feeling lousy again, I waited 3 hours and took a "Breckenridge" generic that I had from last year and it CLEARED my head up after 15 minutes. I went to the pharmacist today, told him I couldn't take the Watson anymore, and suggested "Breckenridge" which he ordered for me, coming tomorrow. I'm going to try them again. Any relief is better than feeling sick. I will let you know the outcome. Over the years, I have been given other manufacturers and didn't really pay attention, but did notice over the years that some worked better than others. The past year or two, they have been getting weaker and less effective. I will keep you posted with the results, and THANKS for answering.

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Hi Mickey!! Thanks so much for your info!! I called my pharmacy and they said they needed the NDC number for the manufacturer to see if they can get them. I thought maybe that may be on your paperwork or script bottle. I'm going to do some research also to try to find them. THANKS AGAIN!! I really appreciate your input. Peace and Love, Diana

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Hi Diana, I hope this info will help you. I have been taking my new meds for two days now, and what a difference for the better! It's called "ascomp w/codeine 30mg" capsules, manufacturer Breckenridge. They are generic and cleared up my hurting foggy head in about 15 minutes. And, the pain relief lasted a longer time than usual with the Watson. There were no side affects, and I actually had a burst of energy to clean the house, ha, ha. My pharmacist had to order them so you can ask yours to get them for you. You can also look them up on line under "Brekenridge Pharmaceuticals". Well worth a try, and good luck. Xo Mickey

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Diana, oh, and by the way, the pill is a blue and yellow capsule with "B074" on the yellow part.

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Diana, the pill is blue and yellow with "B074" on the yellow part.

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My pharmacist said he will try to order my next script from Breckridge. I found out they are out of Florida. Hopefully, he will be able to get them and I should be able to try them in two weeks or so when I am due for a refill. I will keep you posted!!

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Hi Diana and everyone! I am at a standstill. For 20 years, Brand Watson fiorinal with codeine was working great until the last year when here and there they were making me feel sick. (Maybe bottom of the barrel). Anyways, as I stated last month, I tried generic "Breckenridge" and at least they didn't make me feel sick .. BUT, I've noticed they work 50 percent relief. Now I don't know what to do. Can anyone tell me what manufacturer works for them, and are they "brand" or "generic"? Has anyone tried "Qualitest" manufacturer? I am thinking of maybe trying the brand by Watson again. I am so confused. Any suggestions from anyone please?

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Hi Mickey! Well, I received my Breckenridge script about a week ago. I definitely have less stomach nausea with them, and I do think they control the pain a little faster and for a longer time. However, I agree, there isn't much difference. I did have Watson recently, and they are still not the same. I've also had Lannett, but no go there either. It just seems like the formulation has changed and I feel like they have more "junk" in them, or are processed differently. I'm at my wits end also. I can't believe this has worked for me for 35 years and now it's changed. I haven't heard of the other manufacturer you mentioned. I'm sorry I have no answers for you. Good Luck!!

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Hi Diana, (again), ha ha. We are not the only ones with this problem. My cousin is having the same problem also. She has taken Watson generic for over 30 years and said they are not the same anymore. She has to take two at a time the last year. What a shame for us women sufferers. I definitely think these headaches are caused by hormones, or lack of. I might give the Watson Brand one more try and then the Brekenridge generic after that if I can. The Lannett did not work at all. Thanks and let me know if anything changes for the better.

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Dear Fellow Suffers: I begin taking fiorinol and codeine almost 30 years ago. At that time 30 pills cost around $12.00. The price since then as gone up at least 20 times and the formula is different. I am extremely disappointed in the manufactures of this product, and I have no idea why they would charge a working medicine for a product that doesn't perform as well. My feeling is that they added something that would prevent overuse. Formally, I could take one or two pills and continue working even with a migraine. It was truly miraculous! However, I am now looking for something more effective. I know that oxycontin as gotten a bad reputation, but it worked as well as the old formula of fiorinol and codeine (generic). I plan to ask my doctor about a change of prescriptions. In the meantime, shame on the pharmaceutical industry for their greed and disregard for people who genuinely need help. And extra shame on the industry for not disclosing changes made to existing formulas on medications used my people who depend on them for pain relief and the ability to function in everyday situations.

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Hi Alexi, I agree with what you are saying about the manufacture of fiorinal with codeine. Years ago, you took one pill and it worked perfectly with no side effects and made you feel productive. They were a Godsend. For the last 2 years I would say, they are definitely different. Either they don't work, make you feel ill, etc. I read somewhere that government cut the strength, but the pharmacies won't admit to that fact. For many years I have used the Watson Brand until they actually made me feel SICK. I then switched to Watson generic and they hardly worked and made me feel sleepy after about 1 1/2 hours. I won't take Watson / Activis anymore and switched to Brekenridge generic. They seem to work the best out of all the other manufacturers. The strength is not like it used to be but to me at least they give relief without lousy side affects. The last 2 years have been hell between the changes in these pills and the BS with the pharmacy. I am a senior with other problems and don't need all this stress over pills that I need to function. Hope I helped you in some way as you are not alone.

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Just an update for my fellow migraine suffers: My wonderful pharmacist has been ordering from Breckenridge for the past four months. They are definitely the best I have found, although not like two years ago. I believe the problem is the pharmaceutical companies don't want this drug to be as effective because it is so cheap. Well, I pay $8.00 for 100 capsules (with my insurance). The newer, "fancier" drugs are MUCH more expensive...they have to make their money. I wish there was some way for us to ban together and approach the industry to simply make this drug the way it was for 50 years.

One thing I have found that helps when I am suffering an extreme migraine...I take the Fiorinal w/Codeine then supplement with 3mg of codeine sulfate. The codeine sulfate is simply codeine. Not the processed, wacked-out versions like oxycodone and hydrocodone, which have even more additives that seem to worsen my migraine. But, I still daydream about the good old days when two pills a day worked great with no side effects. If anybody knows what powers-that-be we could petition, I'm all ears!!

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Hi headache suffers, I have come to the conclusion that the Fiorinal with codeine made by Watson/Activis, Lannett, Brekenridge and whoever, Brand or Generic, all are being made weaker and with more fillers and are government controlled. That's why they all are not working as well as they used to! Of course, the pharmacists won't agree with this, naturally. They took a good drug that worked well and screwed it up and are making people suffer. What to do? Guess I'll have to ask my neurologist the next time I go, but I just hate to start changing to other medications and start over again. Any suggestions anyone?

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Hi Ann. I am so sorry for our terrible situation. I have been taking Fiornal w/Codeine for 35 years and also have found them to be re-formulated the past two years or so. The only thing I could suggest is trying Fioricet (butalbitol, acetaminophen and caffine) then get a separate script for codeine sulfate, which is just codeine. Personally, I can't take the acetaminophen... I need the aspirin. My next appointment, I am going to ask my doc if there is a way to get separate scripts for the butalbitol, codeine sulfate, then add aspirin and caffeine (which you can get over the counter). I'm thinking if I can get them separate, then the fillers won't be there. I don't know what else to try. If you figure it out, let us all know!! Good Luck!!

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Diana and Ann,
I have sufferred from chronic migraines since college and was prescribed Fioricet w/Codeine by my neurologist about 10 years ago. The brand was amazing and did help mitigate the pain and nausea. Today, we're all at the mercy of lower cost generics. Have had excellent results with Qualitest brand although today, CVS dispensed Brenkenridge. Qualitiest is challenging to find in any pharmacy. I trust that Brenkenridge will be just as effective.

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I am in McKenzie TN and I need help locating a pharmacy to fill Fiorinal with codeine #3 (ACTAVIS). I HAVE A PRESCRIPTION FOR 150 X 2. Can you please help me find a drug store that carries it or will order it for me? It is the only brand that works.

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Re: Diana (# 17) Expand Referenced Message

Diana, what type of doctor will also give you the extra codeine with nothing added I'd like to know thank you

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Re: Diana (# 2) Expand Referenced Message

Wow 30 years? How can u take 4 and function after all those years? U can ask for the 4, or, increase the milligrams. 6 is way to many. Did u try the name brand instead of generic? Will b outrageous in cost though. Hope I helped you.I have exactly the same problems you do also. I get it!! These are the only things I can also take because of the mixture. Others make me sick!!!

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JSP versus Watson generic 'Fiorinal 3' - Does anyone have a comment on the efficiency of either of these generics?

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Re: Diana (# 61) Expand Referenced Message

I'm looking for a new Dr in PA. Mine has gone out of network and I worry about finding a new Dr to fill fiorinal #3 rx.

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I'm allergic to acedemophine (sp) it makes me disoriented and have hallucinations.
I was prescribed Ascomp with codeine several years ago and it seems to work for me so far.

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Doesn't the codeine mess up your stomach? Ever since Watson became Activis, none of the formulas seem the same. Probably no one oversees it. FDA seems useless. No one listens to the patients that take this stuff. I like the Fiorinal tablets that worked the best, but they stopped making them (Activis) in 2013 and never warned us so we could have stocked up. I think stomach bleeding might be a problem. It's an old drug, but it's the only one that works.

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One additional thought. I have tension headaches and fiorinal and codeine is only approved by Medicare for tension headaches. I noticed many respondents here have migraine headaches. There are a number of products that were primarily for other things but have been effective in preventing migraines. If you suffer from migraines, you might want to see a neurologist. One example is neurontin. Developed to control epilepsy, it prevents migraines for some people. But there are about 1/2 dozen drugs designed for other purposes that have prevented or reduced the number of migraines. The most recent is the use of Botox. But if you want try to see if any of these can prevent your migraines, I'd definitely recommend that you work with a neurologist.

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Hi Diana. I'm a PhD, not an MD. When I first started taking fiorinal and codeine in 1975, the prescriber included the strength of the codeine. #1 had the least codeine and every other number was a doubling of the amount of codeine while the other ingredients stayed the same. I noted that someone wrote that they thought the amount of the active ingredient in one of the Meds (don't remember which one) may have been reduced. The more likely answer is when you take something long term, you reach a point where you develop a tolerance and you need more to get the same pain relief. I started with one fiorinal and codeine (they all seem to be number 3 now, so docs don't put a number on prescription.) Some years ago I reached a point where that didn't work, so I've had to take two pills to relieve my tension headaches since.

I have been at the maximum dose almost every day for a number of years. I've also discovered almost by accident that this works best for me as a general analgesic. I have been prescribed oxy and hydro codons, Vicodin and other drugs considered more potent for other acute conditions (shingles, bruised and fractured ribs). And those more potent medications never did a thing for my pain, so I stopped taking them within a couple of days.

I've learned, being a cancer patient, that how we react to Meds varies a great deal. I've seen someone in the chemo room, react so badly to a chemo drug, that an ambulance was called to take them across the street to the hospital. And other patients on the same chemo went through it with minimal side effects. And I think my body's response to fiorinal and codeine as an effective pain reliever while not responding to newer, more potent, drugs is an example of that.

So since the codeine with fiorinal also seems to lower the back pain caused by the effects of cancer in my spine, I had the thought that if it was still available in #4 strength, it would be worth trying to see if it provided more spinal relief. The standard, which is what used to be labeled as #3, is perfectly acceptable for my chronic headaches. I suspect the medication is no longer made with different amounts of codeine.

I'm seeing a pain management doctor now as well as my oncologist and radiation oncologist. My cancer isn't curable and I know that as the cancer grows, it will continue to create more issues with my spine. But there is a positive note here. When I was first diagnosed, the chances of passing the 5 year survival rate were very low. But thanks to new treatments that didn't exist when I was first diagnosed, I've already passed 7 years and I'm not yet even close to the end point. So I remain an optimist.

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Hi DrJohn! First, are you really a doctor?? LOL. Anyway, I have never heard of Fiornal w/Codeine (Butalbitol, Aspirin, Caffeine & Codeine 3mg) referred to as 1, 2, 3 or 4. I have heard Tylenol w/Codeine 3mg referred to as Tylenol 3's. Also, Percocet 5's (5mg codeine) or Percocet 10's. So, it makes me wonder if the numbers you are referring to may also coincide with the mg's of codeine. To my knowledge, they (Fiornal w/Codeine) has only ever had 3mg of codeine, but I'm sure it's possible. I'll do some research. What exactly does your prescription bottle say as far as the medication name and who is the manufacturer? Also, I'm so sad to hear of your illness...I just can't imagine. Thanks so much for your comments...we have to all stick together!! Talk to ya soon, DrJohn.

Peace, Love and Strength ~Diana

QUESTION FOR EVERYBODY...Have any of you heard of DrJohn's description of Fiorinal w/Codeine offered as #1, #2, #3 and #4??? Thanks!!

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