The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulates all substances in the U.S. under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This includes prescription medications such as Fioricet.

Fioricet controlled substance classification

Products that contain butalbital, caffeine, and aspirin are classified as Schedule III substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)

Fioricet, due to it containing acetaminophen instead of aspirin and the ratio of butalbital to acetaminophen is smaller than that of aspirin (found in Fiorinal), therefore making Fioricet exempt from the Drug Enforcement Administration. There are a few states, however, that do classify Fioricet as a Schedule III controlled drug.

Related: Is Fioricet available over the counter?

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Implications

Drugs classified as Schedule III have a lower risk for dependence and addiction but can lead to both if abused. The butalbital in Fioricet is a sedative barbiturate that when abused in high doses can cause a euphoric effect. 

Fioricet is safe when used as prescribed but those that abuse the drug regularly or in high doses may become dependent on the substance and can end up abusing prescriptions and acquiring the drug through illegal means when their prescription ends. 

If you or someone you know is abusing Fioricet then speak to an addiction specialist near you to find out what treatment is available.