What does the temporary pause in production of Excedrin Extra Strength and Excedrin Migraine mean for those living with migraine? (UPDATE: Available once again)
Those living with migraine may have to find an alternative over the counter treatment to Excedrin Migraine as it is discontinued until further notice.
Both caplet and gel-tablets of Excedrin Extra Strength and Excedrin Migraine will be temporarily unavailable as GlaxoSmithKline works to resolve an inconsistency in how the ingredients are weighed. The company said in a statement that the production halt is a “precautionary measure” and that there are no safety risks associated with either product. However, both will be temporarily off the shelves until the issue is resolved.
For people using Excedrin to relieve recurring migraine attacks, this news may be concerning. But what sounds scary, could actually be the ticket to reducing the frequency of your migraine attacks.
Why? Because taking over-the-counter or prescription medications too frequently can actually cause Medication Overuse Headache. Overstimulating the brain pathways involved in reducing pain can create a dependence on medication. Not only does overuse make the medication less effective over time, it also causes pain between attacks and may trigger more frequent attacks. Overuse may even have a hand in progressing the disease from episodic to chronic.
The warning signs of medication overuse include taking acute medications more than two to three days per week or having an acute medicate wear off before the pain has subsided. People who reach this stage should contact their physician to schedule an evaluation.
If you rely on these Excedrin products for relief from migraine, the American Migraine Foundation recommends you schedule an appointment with your headache specialist to determine an alternate course of treatment.
Not working with a headache specialist? Use our Find a Doctor Tool to locate an expert in your area.
Reviewed for accuracy by the American Migraine Foundation’s subject matter experts, headache specialists and medical advisers with deep knowledge and training in headache medicine. Click here to read about our editorial board members.