Excedrin Migraine - Recall, Scandal, Outrage, and Options

Patient Expert

On January 8, Novartis Consumer Health Inc. voluntarily recalled several products, including Excedrin Migraine, saying that the recall was "precautionary following consumer complaints of chipped and broken pills and inconsistent bottle packaging line clearance practices possibly resulting in mixed tablets."

At this point, there is still no Excedrin Migraine to be found on store shelves, and some Migraineurs who find relief from it are, sadly, taking desperate measures to get it.

People who have Excedrin Migraine are taking advantage of this situation and making exorbitant profits by selling it at shocking prices online, including on eBay. Checking today, I found it listed with asking prices as high as $139.99 for 100 tablets. When I looked, there were no bids on those listings, but there were bids on other listings as high as $40 for 100 tablets.

What are people to do?

I don't have any easy solutions that will help everyone; however, I would like to point out a solution that can help many people...

Excedrin Migraine contains:

  • acetaminophen 250 mg
  • aspirin 250 mg
  • caffeine 65 mg

The exact same ingredients can be found in Excedrin Extra Strength and store brands (generics). For some people, the binders and fillers used in the generics can make them less effective. For some people, there's also a psychological factor that keeps the generics from being as effective for them. I understand both of those issues, but the store brands are well worth trying.

This morning, I made some phone calls and found store brands / generics readily available at:

  • Walmart,
  • Kmart,
  • RiteAid,
  • CVS, and
  • some local independent pharmacies.

There's no word yet as to when we can expect Excedrin Migraine to be available again. In the meantime, I hope some of you will find that the generics will be helpful to you.

Summary and comments:

Unfortunately, recalls will happen, and when they do, they cause many problems. It seems unusual that such a seemingly small problem as this one has not been solved and the products returned to the shelves yet.

What I find especially disturbing about this recall is the people who have Excedrin Migraine and are taking advantage of ill people by putting it up for sale and asking such exorbitant prices for it. If anyone who is doing that happens to read this, shame on you. May Karma pay you a visit.


Media Release. "Novartis Consumer Health Inc. voluntarily recalls certain over-the-counter products in the US while Novartis Group strengthens quality standards across all manufacturing sites." Novartis Consumer Health Inc. January 8, 2012.

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