Excedrin Migraine Ingredients, Side Effects, And Dosage
What is Excedrin Migraine?
Excedrin Migraine is a common over-the-counter (OTC) migraine medication to provide relief for acute migraine symptoms. It is classified as an abortive migraine medication. It comes as a caplet or gel tab that you take orally.
How Long Does Excedrin Migraine Last?
In three studies, combining acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine significantly reduced migraine pain compared to placebo (a pill with no medication in it). After 2 hours, this combined migraine cocktail reduced pain in nearly 60% of people taking it. After 6 hours, almost 80% of people had less pain, and 50% had no migraine pain.
What Are The Ingredients Of Excedrin Migraine?
The Excedrin Migraine ingredients in each caplet include:
- 250g of acetaminophen
- 250g of aspirin
- 65g of caffeine
Acetaminophen relieves migraine symptoms and alleviates fever symptoms and aspirin is a NSAID that relieves pain by blocking the body’s production of prostaglandins. Meanwhile, caffeine enhances the pain relief effects of aspirin and acetaminophen.
These ingredients are also known as active ingredients because they provide direct biological benefits in Excedrin Migraine. These active ingredients are also commonly used as ingredients in migraine cocktails at home.
Knowing the ingredients of Excedrin Migraine and its side effects can help you better understand whether this OTC migraine medication works for you. You may find yourself having severe side effects from these ingredients of Excedrin Migraine so make sure you consult a doctor for medical advice.
What Is The Recommended Excedrin Migraine Dosage?
Adults aged 18 years old and above can take 2 caplets or gel tabs of Excedrin Migraine, with a glass of water. For those who are wondering how often can you take Excedrin Migraine, it is recommended to take only two caplets or gel tabs per day to see relief from your migraine symptoms.
Do not take 4 caplets of Excedrin Migraine per day. If you do that, you risk developing liver damage over time. In other words, do not take more than 2 caplets of Excedrin Migraine a day. If you overdose on Excedrin Migraine, you might suffer from acute overdose symptoms, such as rebound headaches etc.
Ultimately, it is crucial to consult a migraine doctor to find out whether the medication is suitable for you.
It is also important to note that Excedrin Migraine should not be given to children below the age of 18. Since Excedrin Migraine contains aspirin, there is a potential risk of Reye’s syndrome, which is a rare but serious illness. This syndrome can occur when children or teenagers who have recently had a viral infection, such as chickenpox or the flu, consume aspirin.
Side Effects Of Excedrin Migraine
Common side effects of Excedrin Migraine include:
- Upset stomach / liver problems
- Depressed mood and anxiety
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
What Should I Avoid When I’m Taking Excedrin Migraine?
It is important to not take Excedrin Migraine on an empty stomach. This helps to prevent potential stomach pain.
Also, it is important to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks, like coffee while taking Excedrin Migraine. This is because Excedrin Migraine already contains caffeine. Consuming caffeinated drinks while taking Excedrin Migraine may cause anxiety or a general “nervous” feeling.
However, should you experience anxiety, nausea or vomiting after consumption of Excedrin Migraine, make sure you consult a doctor immediately.
Drug Interactions With Excedrin Migraine
Drug interactions can increase or decrease the effect of Excedrin Migraine or your other medications. They can also increase your risk of side effects.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before taking Excedrin Migraine if you use any of the following medications:
- blood thinners such as warfarin, rivaroxaban, and apixaban
- gout drugs, such as probenacid
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil Migraine), naproxen, 81-mg or 325-mg aspirin, enteric-coated aspirin, and celecoxib
- antiseizure/anti-convulsant drugs such as phenytoin and valproic acid
- medications used to treat clots such as alteplase and reteplaseangiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as lisinopril, enalapril, and ramipril
- antacids such as sodium bicarbonate and magnesium hydroxide
Warnings: Can I Take Excedrin Migraine With Alcohol?
You should also avoid taking alcohol with Excedrin Migraine. Drinking alcohol will aggravate the stomach bleeding from aspirin and liver problems from acetaminophen.
Warnings: Can I Take Excedrin Migraine On An Empty Stomach?
You should also avoid taking Excedrin Migraine on an empty stomach to reduce the side effects of an upset stomach.
According to the Excedrin Migraine website, you should not use Excedrin Migraine if you are allergic to acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, caffeine, or any NSAIDs (Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Orudis, Indocin, Lodine, Voltaren, Toradol, Mobic, Relafen, Feldene, and others). You should also avoid taking other NSAIDs with Excedrin Migraine as there are common active ingredients, such as acetaminophen and aspirin. Taking multiple medications may lead to a fatal drug overdose.
Overdose Symptoms Of Excedrin Migraine
According to the Excedrin Migraine website, if you take too much Excedrin Migraine, the first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Other Excedrin Migraine overdose symptoms include:
- pain in your upper stomach
- dark urine
- yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
- ringing of ears
- seizures (convulsions)
- slow heart rate
How Should I Take Excedrin Migraine?
Follow the instructions on the label or as prescribed by your doctor when taking Excedrin Migraine. Do not exceed the recommended dosage. Overdosing by taking too much Excedrin Migraine can lead to liver damage or even be fatal.
If Excedrin Migraine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk to alleviate discomfort.
For adults, take your 2 tablets of Excedrin Migraine with a glass of water. If your symptoms persist or worsen, consult your doctor. Do not exceed 2 caplets within a 24-hour period unless instructed by your doctor. If you are under 18 years old, consult your doctor for appropriate dosage instructions.
Contact your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, if you have a fever lasting more than 3 days, or if you experience swelling or pain lasting longer than 10 days.
Excedrin Migraine Reddit Review Summary
Some of the reviews of Excedrin Migraine on Reddit are generally mixed. Some people do experience migraine relief after taking it while others experience side effects, such as those often associated with caffeine. Some Reddit reviews also claimed that Excedrin Migraine was helpful to treat tension headaches instead of migraine symptoms.
Why was Excedrin Migraine discontinued in 2020? (Updated)
In 2020, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturer of Excedrin, paused production of Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin Extra Strength. They did so as a precaution to resolve an inconsistency in how the ingredients were weighed. As of July 2020, GSK resumed production so Excedrin Migraine is back on the shelves since.
What are some alternatives to Excedrin Migraine?
There are other alternatives to Excedrin Migraine available for treating migraine, such as:
- Other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Motrin and naproxen (Aleve) can be considered.
- Advil Migraine, which consists of liquid-filled ibuprofen capsules, is FDA approved specifically for migraines. It is designed to provide faster relief. A comparison between Excedrin Migraine and Advil Migraine is available here.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be an alternative if NSAIDs are not suitable for you.
- If you find yourself relying on OTC medication more than once or twice a week, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider. You might require a prescription medication for your migraines. If you do not have a regular healthcare provider, GoodRx offers online access to providers who can assist you.
Tracking Your Excedrin Migraine Consumption
While Excedrin Migraine is generally safe for consumers, make sure you track your Excedrin Migraine consumption to track the efficacy of the medicine in alleviating migraine pain. By tracking the usage of Excedrin Migraine, you can better know whether the medication works for you.