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Excedrin Recall Continues, Here Are Some Alternatives

No word on when the pills will return to shelves.

The has left many without the medicine they typically use to cure their ills.

Distributing drug company Novartis would not say when the pills would be back on the shelf, but Dr. Alice Stollenwerk Petrulis with MetroHealth in Westlake has a few suggestions until they become available again.

"Bufferin is just buffered aspirin and Gas-X is Beano," she said. "The easiest thing to do is figure out what the active ingredient is, and find something with the same dosage."

Ecotrin, a kind of aspirin, works just as well as Bufferin, Petrulis said. A low dose would be around 180 milligrams, and a high dose would be 345 milligrams.

Petrulis suggests Mylanta Gas liquid, an antacid, as a substitute for Gas-X. Mylicon, which is often given to children to reduce gas, is another option, as well as GasAid and Flatulex, she said.

For a NoDoz substitute, Petrulis suggests having a cup of coffee. She said there is as much caffeine in a NoDoz pill as a 16-ounce cup of coffee from Einstein's or an iced drink from Starbucks.

For those who don't like coffee, she suggests regular caffeine pills.

"The easiest thing to do is go to the area you bought the Gas-X and find an equivalent," she said. "Look for that key ingredient." 

Migraines can be treated with Motrin or Advil and a little caffeine, she said. "IB profein, Motrin and Advil are all good for migraines. Excedrin Migraine is just Asprin, Tylenol and caffiene."

Westlake's Walgreen's pharmacy also stated that they do not know when the recall will be over, but recommended Walgreens brand Migraine Relief as an alternative to Excedrin Migraine.

A few Patch readers have been reporting dizziness, vomiting and stomach pain after taking the last few pills in their Excedrin bottles, but Novartis says they haven't heard of any complaints.

"We don't have any reports of adverse events," said Julie Massow, U.S. corporate spokesperson for Novartis.

"Novartis Consumer Health has also taken other pre-emptive actions to ensure our products meet the highest quality standards, including voluntarily suspending operations at the Lincoln facility and suspending shipments from the site," reads a statement issued by Novartis. "We are working to resume production and return products to stores as soon as possible."

James Murphy July 05, 2012 at 12:49 AM
113 comments about excedrin, has given me a headache
LDG July 05, 2012 at 03:28 PM
wow, nice to know that i'm not the only one that suffers from migraine pain, i hope they really hurry and get Excedrine Migraine back on the market, i really don't know how i can survive and function normally without it.
CRose July 07, 2012 at 11:41 PM
According to the Excedrin Facebook page, (the post as of May 16) they expect to be back in July. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Excedrin/150938071645797
Dave July 11, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Safeway brand "pain reliever" (basically their generic aspirin) has the exact same ingredients as Excedrin Migraine. I just bought a 200 quantity bottle from Von's for $9.99 yesterday so it is substantially cheaper as well. There is absolutely no difference between the two besides the price. No need to go back to Excedrin brand. Secondly, the ingredients in Excedrin Extra Strength are exactly the same as Excedrin Migraine with the only difference being the label and recommended dosages. For Excedrin Extra Strength, they recommend a dose of 2 tabs/6 hours, not exceeding 8 tabs in 24 hours. For Excedrin Migraine, they recommend a dose of 2 tabs/24 hours. By simply changing the recommended dosages they were allowed to label one as a "Migraine" formula. . . .this is commonly referred to as "a marketing ploy".
Pam Basinger July 11, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Walgreens Migraine Relief is also the same ingredients as Excedrin Migraine. I've been using them since the recall and for me they work just as well!
Kate Bigam July 11, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Why would anyone who likes coffee take No-Doz? The point of taking caffeine pills is often that we don't like caffeinated drinks! I forget the same of the No-Doz substitute I found, but it works just as well.
Carole Canto July 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM
HI, Glad to see a Pharmacist here. I have been reading all the comments and have a question that many have brought up that perhaps you can answer. Why is the dosage different for Excedrin Migraine and regular excedrin? Limited to 2 of the Migraine in 24 hours, and 8 of the Regular. Are they the SAME? Or perhaps are the the same in the ACTIVE ingredientes, but something in the other ingredients, makes the difference between them, and also the difference between the Excedrin and the Generics?
Cakes July 12, 2012 at 06:36 PM
I used to have the same problem with what you describe as "chronic" headaches and I was continually taking medication. One day I read an article about "rebound" headaches - pain that comes back as soon as the medication wears off - and realized that was probably what I was dealing with. The article said the only way to break the cycle was to do it cold turkey. So I picked a weekend (when I would be offf work and have no added stresses adding to the problem) and bit the bullet. On Friday evening at 6:00 I took two Excedrin, with the intention of not taking another one until at least 48 hours later. By the time I went to bed, my headache was already coming back and by Saturday morning it was brutal, throbbing pain. But I persevered and held out. My head hurt the entire time, but when I finally took the next dose, actually more like 36 hours later, the pain stopped completely within 5 minutes. Ever since then, I still get headaches but I've been able to manage with far fewer doses; or I will take just one pill instead of automatically taking two, and often that is enough. I almost never go a full day without taking something, but sometimes I only take one or two total. It's a terrible thing when your activities are so limited by headaches, but this helped improve my quality of life considerably.
robin July 16, 2012 at 11:54 PM
i have a callback bottle of 500 when i got to bottom of bottle there were pills with purple streaks in them and broken pills but they all looked the same shape as excedren i had 16 left before recall i cant find out what side effects were im a execdren user cant wait till they are back
Barry Jowers July 18, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Never, Barack Obama found out they was making very large donation to th republican party and took the step to make sure they will never operate another business as long as each lives.
Mrbee Hende July 24, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Excedrin is the only pill that helps any of my headaches. I went online to see why they have not been put back on the shelves. And I found this blog. I now realize that there are people hurting all over the world and this company don't seem to be listening to us. What do we do next to fix this problem? Because this is a very serious problem.
Sandy Baker July 25, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Wow I can really see that the world is so caring! People who are trying to help someone else get relief is so moving. Unfortunately, medication doesn’t work too well for my headaches – the side affects make me uneasy and it just feels so unnatural. I recently did a bunch of research into natural products and relief and came upon a product called Aculief that uses pressure on the LI-4 pressure spot on your hand to provide tension relief. You just put the clip on and forget about it. It can stay on your hand for as long as you want or until your headache goes away. Check out their website for more info: http://www.aculief.com/products/aculief. I hope this helps more people like you and me who suffer from tension and headaches whether they're from injuries or other causes. Also I hope this comment finds you since it was from a little while ago!
robert may July 30, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Let me know when you find a generic equivalent to excedrin back and body. I havent found anyone offering a asprin/tylenol combo pill without the caffeine.
Vicki Howe July 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I have bad migraine headaches and a lot of tension headaches. Excedrine Migraine is the ONLY thing that works. Please, Please bring them back. I am tired of not getting any relief from the headaches. I have tried other meds, but nothing works like Excedrine. I am begging, bring them back.
Jen Allen July 31, 2012 at 08:33 PM
WHEN WILL IT END????????? I get frequent migraines, and the ONLY thing that worked was Excedrin Migraine. I have tried EVERYTHING from prescription migraine meds to Ibuprofen, but nothing else works!!! I am immune to Tylenol, Asprin by itself makes me sick, Ibuprofen only relieves my inflammation, they took away my Darvocet, and I can't take flexeril for a migraine! You guys really need to get the ball rolling on getting this product back on the shelves. I don't know how much longer I can tolerate the severity of these migraines!!!! PLEASE PUT A RUSH ON THIS RECALL!!! There is no relief for me without it!!!!!!!
Joanne August 02, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Vanquish works okay but you have to take more of it because it has less mgs of medicine in it than Excedrine does... check your labels.
Nydia H. August 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM
"Pain is what the patient says it is" - not what we think it is. Bruno, Dr. Allen - while your statement above is true, as a health care professional myself (nurse) (and at risk of sounding like the Hair Club commercial) - I'm also an avid user of Excedrin Migraine. Yes, the ingredients are the same, yes it's just caffine & tylenol, and yes there are store brands we can purchase, but for some reason THIS product is more effective for these users than any other. I agree that some of the comments sound dramatic, but telling people what YOU think they're experiencing is like telling them get the generic & that's "not effective". I've had migraines since elementary school (inherited from dad), so I think as a 36yr old - I kinda know what works for me & it has been the green & white Excedrin Migraine coated tabs. I have the Equate & Walgreens brand in my bag - they don't touch my HA. I've had a migraine for 4 days now, so yes...I am a bit frantic about my HA relief brand. This is the 1st time I've called off work for a migraine HA, but working in a hosp environment right now (lights, alarms, people yelling, etc) is the LAST thing I can handle - not to mention the 98 degree sunny weather outside! So as HCP (health care professionals) let's just do as we were taught - to listen, support & treat - in addition to teaching & respecting the patient. Allow them to "freak out", then respectfully explain the facts & find a solution that works. Because HCP's (like us) are awesome!!
Bonnie smith August 20, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Excedrin is the only product that completely helps me with headaches and complety all over pain. Please hurry up and come back!!!!!!
Patti Labby August 21, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I have had migraines for years. 8 yrs. ago i had neck surgery and that helped considerably. I still get occasional migraines. Excederin migraine was the only product that helped. You can say what you want about other products having the same ingredients and amounts. I have tried these products with an open mind. They did nothing to reduce my migraines. I have tried every otc product. Say what you want, until you have suffered with these and found no relief, dont make such a statement. Neck massage helps a little. The muscles in the neck area tighten and pull on the skull. Warm compress on the neck to loosen the tight muscles is also helpful. If something works, use it. Otherwise, dont send advice unless you really know what you are talking about. Patti
Heather August 28, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Depends, Bill. Bayer Back and Body's very good, but using that is a matter of how you do with aspirin specifically. I'm a TBI survivor and several doctors have recommended I stay away from aspirin for a list of reasons. Excedrin B & B had acetaminophen as it's main listed ingredient and works wonderfully (I use it when I'm having back trouble or when I'm running a fever and having body aches). I was wondering the same thing.
Laura S September 01, 2012 at 03:55 AM
I use the equate brand of excedrine. Have for years, what is a safer brand for my stomach. Was just diagnosed with ulcers, and I'm being told its from the excedrine I'm taking. Help!
Diane Paolini October 04, 2012 at 10:44 AM
I emailed Novatis the other day. Excedrine will be coming back sometime this month. The first product to return will be Excedrine Migraine. It is correct that Excedrine migraine has the same active ingredients as regular Excedrine. I like buy Migraine because I like the gel tabs. I have been taking the Walgreen's equivalent. Even though the active ingredients are the same, It does not work nearly as well for me. Perhaps, it is something about the way it is formulated. I worked in pharmaceuticals for thirteen years, so there can be differences. I have also begun to experience GI problems, which I never had in 40 years of taking Excedrin. The point about rebound headaches is a very important one. All of the NSAIDS - aspirin. acetaminophen, ibuprophen, oxycodone, etc. can cause them. If you are experiencing chronic headaches, you should see a doctor. You may very well be making them worse with chronic use of OTC pain meds.
Cakes October 04, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Hurray!! Thanks Diane, for letting us know. I also find that the generic products cause stomach upset and a severe aftertaste that I did not have with Excedrin
Michele Maclaughlin October 26, 2012 at 01:43 PM
You are so right! I've used the other medicines listed and only Excederine works! It's so fast and effective! It gives you such a pick-me-up that is unmatched by those other brands. It's like the way you can't duplicate the deliciousness of a McDonald's cheeseburger at home. There is truly something special in their formula!
Michele Washington December 09, 2012 at 07:25 AM
I don't know what it is about this medicine, but excedrin migraine is the only one that works for me!! Thank goodness I purchased a big bottle! As a person who suffers from migraine's often, I have tried other OTC drugs, but excedrin works the best and the fastest. I don't care what kind of pharmacist or doctor or nurse or whatever thinks.....excedrin was my last option, after I tried everything else. The only other thing I use is my perscription fiorocet with codiene....that stuff is awesome!!
ColumbiaMO December 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Wanted to share with all of you this morning that EXCEDRIN MIGRAINE is back on the shelves in Columbia Missouri went too walgreens last night .....And w very pleased to see the pills back out......And to the people who make excedrin thank you so very, very,very much if it's not out where you live at yet will be soon.....and again thank you ...GOD BLESS
ColumbiaMO December 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I also want to thank each and everyone of you for all the suggestion and information that was giving though the crisis and also patch for allowing people to come together to help one another....... again thank you
Susan Ruiz Patton March 04, 2013 at 02:42 PM
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Devan March 18, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Try aminoactiv. It's a pain reliever that promotes healing too. It's worked wonders for me.
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