Friday, March 17, 2023

Excedrin Migraine Vs Extra Strength

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Alternatives To Excedrin Migraine

Ask Dr. Nandi: Two Excedrin products are temporarily discontinued, company says

The current Excedrin Migraine shortage means treating an acute attack with Excedrin Migraine is not even an option. So what are the alternatives? Here are a few acute therapies to discuss with your doctor. Please note that many of the options below also come with a risk for Medication Overuse Headache.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories

Available in both OTC and prescription strength, NSAIDs are common painkillers used to treat Migraine.


Some people use caffeine to help abort an attack.

A combo of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine

If you really want to replicate Excedrin Migraine, simply take each of the active ingredients. As previously discussed, combo meds like this come with an increased risk of MOH.


The gold standard of Migraine medication, triptans are available by prescription. They also come with a risk of MOH. Talk to your doctor.

Neuromodulation Devices

There is a handful of non-invasive devices approved to abort an attack, like Cefaly and Nerivio. Talk to your doctor.

Ditans and gepants

Drugs in these two classes were very recently approved by the FDA, Reyvow, and Ubrelvy. Access varies by pharmacy and insurance plan.


If you have access in your state, you can talk to your doctor about trying CBD, THC, or a combo to treat your attacks. Note that research is still lacking.For the complete guide to creating your Migraine treatment plan – including the available meds – see this article.

How The Active Ingredients In Excedrin Products Work Together To Stop Headaches

Evidence suggests that the use of combination analgesics such as Excedrin offer advantages in the treatment of headaches by targeting pain in more than one way.

Excedrins specialized formula contains two pain relievers plus an amplifier that work together to target head pain. Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. Aspirin helps to block the production of pain signaling chemicals called prostaglandins. The way in which acetaminophen works is still not well understood. However, it is believed to elevate the pain threshold. This allows you to tolerate more pain, therefore providing pain relief. Finally, caffeine has been shown to increase the potency of aspirin and acetaminophen by up to 40 percent. This means less acetaminophen and aspirin is needed to relieve your migraine pain when combined with caffeine.

Acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine, when taken as directed, provide clinically proven headache relief. Excedrin is a combination of these ingredients: two pain relievers, plus an amplifier to enhance the analgesic effect.

Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, should not be taken with other medicines that also contain acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is contained in many medicines to treat pain, fever, symptoms of cold and flu, and sleep medicines. Do not take more than recommended dose, as this may be harmful, including serious harm to your liver. If you have liver or kidney disease, talk to your doctor before taking acetaminophen.

Main Differences Between Excedrin Migraine And Extra Strength

  • Excedrin Migraine was released in the market in 1998 while Extra Strength was released in the market in 1960.
  • The maximum intake of Excedrin Migraine is 2 times a day whereas the maximum intake of Extra Strength is 4 times a day.
  • Excedrin has reported increased heart rate by a bit for some patients while there are no side effects reported of increasing heart rate for Extra Strength.
  • Excedrin Migraine is best suited for severe headaches as it is more powerful while Extra Strength is suited for light headaches.
  • Caffeine is present in the formula of Excedrin Migraine along with acetaminophen, aspirin while Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Caffeine are not present in the formula of Extra Strength.
  • Also Check: Why Do Migraines Cause Nausea

    What Is Extra Strength

    The Extra Strength is the first launch of the Excedrin. It was launched into the market in the year 1960. It is one of the oldest in the market. The Extra Strength was one of the oldest products to be formulated with multiple ingredients. The Extra Strength may cure more than 50% of the migraine pain but it does not have the capability of eliminating 100% of the migraine pain.

    The dosage of the Extra Strength is a little bit light. It can be consumed up to 4 meds in a single day. But that amount of dosage can make a person weak, or even nauseating.

    Even though Extra Strength is formulated with Multiple ingredients, but it doesnt contain 3 essential ingredient which has good anti-migraine properties. The three ingredients are caffeine, acetaminophen, and aspirin. Extra Strength works best to cope up with light migraine pain. There has been no reporting of immediate side effects from the Extra Strength like Racing heart rate. The one and only possible explanation for the high dose limit would be that individuals with prolonged headaches will indeed take in medicines at any time and dosage which minimizes the effect of the medicines.

    Backstory Feel Free To Scroll Past This

    Excedrin Migraine and Extra Strength have the same exact ingredients ...

    When I was 10 years old, I went to the locker rooms to change after gym class. For some reason, I was the only one down there, which seems weird to me now, but thats not really important. Anyway, the last thing I remember was tying my shoes. I woke up probably 10 feet from where I was, face down on the floor. My chin was busted open, I bit my tongue, and I had a huge bruise on my hip.

    I ended up having to get 7 stitches and a CAT scan. They said everything in my brain looked normal, and that maybe I had a heat stroke. I dont remember being abnormally hot, so I have a hard time believing it was that. Still dont know what happened, though.

    I dont remember exactly when I started getting constant headaches, but I know by the time I was 14, I had a migraine during a soccer game. It was so bad, that I was seeing spots all over the place, and I couldnt differentiate the things I was seeing from the actual ball. Its safe to say that I had migraines from at least then.

    At some point, I went to the doctor again, and they told me to take something for my headaches as soon as I felt them coming on, that way it wouldnt get any worse. So, thats what I did. Thats what I continued to do for years. Even when I felt the slightest headache, I took Excedrin. Most of the time, it got rid of it right away. Eventually, it got to where I had to take it multiple times a day.

    Also Check: How To Treat Severe Headache

    Why Was It Discontinued

    Earlier this year, GlaxoSmithKline , the manufacturer of Excedrin, temporarily 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 this month, GSK has resumed production and you should start seeing these products back on the shelves shortly.

    Why Does Excedrin Migraine Provide An Energy Boost Euphoric Mood Lift And Control Frequency Of Bathroom Trips I Would Like Assistance Finding A Substitute For Excedrin Migraine My Doctors Dont Know Why Excedrin Migraine Works This Way For Me I Joined

    Why does Excedrin Migraine provide an energy boost, euphoric mood lift and control frequency of bathroom trips? I would like assistance finding a substitute for Excedrin Migraine, my doctors dont know why Excedrin Migraine works this way for me, I joined this forum hoping a chemist could help. I discovered unexpected benefits from taking it and, remarkably, it helps me function and temporarily manage Crohns symptoms and chronic fatigue. Its my wonder drug, but due to the side effects of acetaminophene, I dont use Excedrin Migraine too often and would love to find a substitute. Perhaps other people can benefit too. I started using it many years ago for migraines and was delighted to discover additional benefits. I currently dont use or need any prescribed medications and follow a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, walking, diet, caring communities, etc. As a young adult, I suffered from Crohns Disease for 13 years, but healed myself naturally after years of steroids and pain killers. The disease left scar tissue with symptoms that I manage. Dont know why, but for about 4 hours after taking Excedrin Migraine, I dont need to use the bathroom. Ive been managing chronic fatigue most of my adult life and Excedrin Migraine lifts my mood and gives me an amazing energy boost for about 4 hours. Thank you, Ruth Katz, Morning Walk Studio.

    You May Like: Pressure Points To Relieve Migraines

    If Theyre The Same Medication Why Can I Only Take 2 Tablets Of Excedrin Migraine But I Can Take 8 Tablets Of Excedrin Extra Strength

    Combination pain relievers used to treat migraines, like Excedrin Migraine, can cause medication overuse headaches, also known as rebound headaches. If you frequently take a pain reliever for migraines and/or exceed the recommended daily dosage, you can get a medication overuse headache once the pain relief wears off, prompting you to take even more medication. Over time, this can lead to shorter periods of pain relief and recurrent chronic headaches. The dosage recommendation for Excedrin Migraine is to help prevent this from happening.

    No Excedrin Available What Do You Do

    The difference between Excedrin Migraine & Excedrin Extra Strength – Public Service Announcement

    The company views this halt as a short-term issue, and production is expected to begin again shortly. But there is no definite date as to when that will happen, according to the GSK spokesperson.

    Excedrin Extra Strength is used for temporary pain relief due to headaches, arthritis, and muscle aches and Excedrin Migraine claims to help relieve pain in as little as 30 minutes.

    Other Excedrin products are still available. These include Excedrin Tension Headache, which does not contain aspirin, and Excedrin PM, which also contains a sleep aid.

    For many migraine and headache sufferers, Excedrin is their go-to medication. If I was to buy a different brand, it doesnt even touch it. I havent seen it empty like this . Its kind of scary, Excedrin-user Ashleigh Eldred told ABC-affiliate WSYR. If I have a migraine attack, Im not sure, if I was to not have any on me, what I would do.

    Eldred is not alone. Excedrin is a very effective drug that people really like, says Natalia Murinova, MD, neurologist with UW Medicine in Seattle. Its great if its used sparingly, which means not more than four to six days per month. If someone has headaches one or two days per week, Excedrin is safe and effective.

    RELATED: A Personal Battle With Chronic Pain Gives Rise to

    Recommended Reading: How To Help With Sinus Headache

    These Two Pain Relievers May Be Similar But Excedrin Has A Powerful Combination Not Found In Tylenol

    When a headache begins, it can disrupt your whole day if you dont treat it, but Excedrin Extra Strength starts to work in 15 minutes for some.

    Clinical studies have demonstrated that Excedrin Extra Strength relieves headaches better than Tylenol® Extra Strength.1 Both Excedrin Extra Strength and Tylenol® Extra Strength include acetaminophen, an analgesic that relieves pain and reduces fever. But Excedrin Extra Strength contains two additional active ingredients, aspirin and caffeine.

    Aspirin targets pain by blocking the production of pain signaling chemicals called prostaglandins. Caffeine is referred to as an analgesic adjuvant. This means it helps boost the effects for certain pain relievers. In the case of Excedrin, caffeine boosts the effects of aspirin and acetaminophen making those medications up to 40% more effective.2,3,4

    See the chart below for a breakdown of Excedrin Extra Strength vs. Tylenol® Extra Strength.


  • Migliardi JR, Amellino JJ, Friedman M, Gillings DB, Beaver WT. Caffeine as an analgesic adjuvant in tension headache. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1994 56:576-86.
  • Excedrin. Drug Facts Label. 2020
  • Laska EM et al. Caffeine as an analgesic adjuvant. JAMA. 1984 251:1711-1718.
  • Lipton RB, Diener H-C, Robbins MS, Gara SY, Patel K. Caffeine in the management of patients with headache. J Headache Pain. 2017 18:107.
  • How To Pick A Pain Reliever:

    Q. Could you please explain the differences between popular OTC pain relievers? How is Advil different from Aleve, and how are these NSAIDs different from aspirin? What makes Excedrin different? I havent needed pain relievers before, but now I do.

    This reader is also suffering from pain reliever confusion. He has a similar question:

    Q. We have aspirin, Aleve, Tylenol and Advil in our medicine cabinet. All the labels state that they are for pain relief and fever reduction. Whats the difference? And is one better than the others?

    Read Also: Where To Get Botox For Migraines

    Caffeine: A Key Ingredient To The Excedrin List

    You may have heard that caffeine can cause or exacerbate headaches, and if so, youre probably wondering why theres caffeine in most Excedrin products.

    Its true that caffeine can be a headache trigger in certain situations, but thats far from the full story.

    Caffeine is referred to as an analgesic adjuvant. This means that it helps to boost the effects of certain pain relievers. In the case of Excedrin, caffeine boosts the pain-relieving effects of aspirin and acetaminophen making these medicines up to 40% more effective.

    Thats why youll find caffeine in almost all Excedrin products. Only Excedrin PM Headache does not contain caffeine, as caffeine consumed too close to bedtime can keep you from getting a good nights sleep.

    Excedrin Migraine Vs Excedrin Tension Headache

    Excedrin Extra Strength Caplets  Headache Relief  24 Count

    As far as I know, unless my doctors were wrong again, Excedrin Tension Headache is okay to take while pregnant. The only difference between Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin Tension Headache, is that Excedrin Tension Headache does not contain aspirin.

    So yes, its probably okay to take it, but Id try not to, if you can help it. Its only going to make you experience the wonderful Excedrin side effects known as caffeine withdrawal and rebound headaches. Besides, loading up on acetaminophen and caffeine while pregnant still probably isnt the best thing, either.

    Also Check: Headache In The Temple Area

    Excedrin: Aspirin Acetaminophen & Caffeine:

    Each Extra Strength Excedrin pill contains aspirin and acetaminophen . Acetaminophen is the ingredient in Tylenol. In addition to aspirin and acetaminophen, Extra Strength Excedrin contains 65 mg of caffeine.

    The manufacturer of Excedrin offers the following dosing directions:

    Adults and children 12 years and over: Take 2 tablets every 6 hours not more than 8 tablets in 24 hours

    Difference Between Excedrin Migraine And Extra Strength

    Categorized under Drugs,Processed Foods | Difference Between Excedrin Migraine and Extra Strength

    Excedrin Migraine vs Extra Strength

    Pain that is brought about by several conditions can be very troublesome on the part of the sufferer. It is considered the fifth vital sign which is essential in the determination of health status but is disturbing on several occasions. The use of analgesia or pain medication has become an easy step in relieving and treating pain.

    Excedrin has been part of the list of dynamic pain medication products throughout the years. It is an over-the-counter drug that was introduced to cure headaches of different severities and other pain-related conditions. It contains acetaminophen which has antipyretic and analgesic properties, aspirin, which also has the latter plus anti-inflammatory and antiplatelet effects, and caffeine which is a psychoactive stimulant.

    Currently, there are about eight Excedrin products that cater to specific pain related conditions, namely:

    Express Gels which are gellcaps used for fast headache relief.

    Menstrual Complete which works against bloating, cramps, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue.

    Tension Headache which gives relief for head, neck, and shoulder pain brought about by tension-type headaches.

    Excedrin PM which aids insomnia-related pain.

    Back and Body which acts as a pain reliever and blocker in one.

    Sinus Headache which relieves sinus and nasal congestion and headache pain.


    Recommended Reading: Differences Between Headaches And Migraines

    How Safe Is Acetaminophen

    Show 1055: What Are the Best Treatments for Headaches?Tension headaches, cluster headaches and migraines all call for different approaches to prevention and treatment. What should you know?

    You may also find our recent podcast with one of the nations leading chronic pain experts of value. Sean Mackey, M.D., Ph.D. is Redlich Professor and Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine at Stanford University Medical School. He is Director of the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab and past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. You can listen to this free podcast at this link. The first part of the interview is with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. He describes his pain journey and the terrible time he had getting an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

    A small favor please. Google has made it nearly impossible for people to find our content on the web. If someone wants to overcome pain reliever confusion, they will almost assuredly not find this article or any other articles from The Peoples Pharmacy.

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    Differences Between Excedrin And Excedrin Migraine

    Can’t find your Excedrin Migraine pills at the pharmacy? Here’s why

    Categorized under Disease | Differences Between Excedrin and Excedrin Migraine

    Excedrin vs Excedrin Migraine

    A migraine is no ordinary headache. Ordinary headaches are just headaches that most people get from extraneous reading, dehydration or different tasks. However, migraines might have the same causes, but they differ mainly by their level of pain. Migraines are more crucial and cuts deeply to the head. Sadly, most people even experience a mixed headache wherein both an ordinary headache and migraine are joined together.

    Thus, Bayer is one of the most distinguished medicine providers that has created many migraine formulas. People buy from Bayer because they know how well these formulas are tested and created. One of the many questions that most people ask is, how do they treat their migraine? Should they use Excedrin or Excedrin migraine medicine? There is a varying difference among the two, and both differ from how they are marketed.

    How did it all happen?

    For Excedrin to actually market any product, they have to get approved by the FDA first. Hence, because of the level of pain attacks that both migraine and ordinary headaches differ, the FDA can only approve the labels of the medicine once it is changed. Therefore, Excedrin migraine is to treat migraines while the Excedrin is to treat ordinary headaches. It is of the concern of FDA that people would consume extra strength of dosage when they are not experiencing a migraine at all.

    The reliability


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