Migraine Treatments

What to Know During the Excedrin Shortage (It’s Not a Recall)

If you’re reading this, you probably already know something’s going on with Excedrin® — but is it a recall or a shortage? And how is it going to affect your migraine treatment routine?

We know how scary it can be to feel like you can’t get clear information about a potential issue with the medication you’re taking. That’s why we’re here to break it all down so you can make the best possible decisions for your health.

Is this an Excedrin® recall?

We’ll get straight to the point: This isn’t a recall. The company that makes Excedrin®, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has decided to temporarily stop making and distributing the medication as a precautionary measure.

Why is there a shortage of Excedrin®?

In their official statement, GlaxoSmithKline said they’ve halted production because of “inconsistencies in how we transfer and weigh ingredients.”

There isn’t a nationwide shortage yet, but drugstores won’t be able to restock once they run out of their current supply.

Which products are affected?

Two over-the-counter medications have been affected by GlaxoSmithKline’s decision: Excedrin® Extra Strength and Excedrin® Migraine.

Excedrin® Migraine, a go-to acute treatment option for many migraine sufferers, is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) made from acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine.

How long is the shortage supposed to last?

If you’re worried that Excedrin® has been permanently discontinued, you’ll be happy to hear that GlaxoSmithKline says this is only a short-term issue. That said, it isn’t clear yet when Excedrin® Extra Strength and Excedrin® Migraine will return to shelves.

Should I take the Excedrin® Migraine I currently have at home?

We know you’re hoping to hear that it’s definitely safe to take the Excedrin® Migraine you already have, but we’d never tell you anything we weren’t 100% sure of. Even though this isn’t a recall, we don’t have enough information to answer this.

If you have any questions or concerns about your Excedrin®, you should contact a pharmacist for specific advice.

Excedrin® Migraine alternatives: What you can take instead

We know having trouble getting the medication you need is really frustrating, especially when there are already so few effective over-the-counter options for migraine sufferers. Luckily, there are alternatives to Excedrin® Migraine that you could try if you’re affected by the shortage and need an acute treatment ASAP.

If you’re willing to look into getting a prescription, consider trying naproxen, which is also an NSAID, or triptans. If you’d rather stick to medication you can get over the counter, you could try Migraine Relief (generic Excedrin®), as well as a few other options. As always, a doctor is the best resource if you have any concerns.

We know it’s not easy for migraine sufferers to just switch to another medication. Migraines are personal and we fully understand that it can take time to find the right one. If you’d like to talk to a Cove doctor about potential migraine treatment options, you can get started here.

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Naproxen is an oral medication used to ease pain, swelling, and fever. This drug may raise the chance of heart and blood vessel side effects like heart attack and stroke. If these happen, they can be deadly. The risk of these side effects may be greater if you have heart disease or risks for heart disease. However, the risk may also be raised in people who do not have heart disease or risks for heart disease. The risk of these health problems can happen as soon as the first weeks of using this drug and may be greater with higher doses or with long-term use. This drug may raise the chance of very bad and sometimes deadly stomach or bowel side effects like ulcers or bleeding. The risk is greater in older people. The risk is also greater in people who have had stomach or bowel ulcers or bleeding before. These problems may occur without warning signs. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby. You can read more about naproxen’s side effects, warnings, and precautions here. Full prescribing information for naproxen is available here. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch: https://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash.