Excedrin Migraine - cautions and tips
The Excedrin website claims that "In independent studies of 1,250 patients, Excedrin Migraine was clinically proven to relieve migraine headache pain." But what really is this painkiller, and will it help the average migraineur? Let's take a look.
This was actually a bit of a breakthrough, being the "the first over-the-counter medicine approved for treating pain associated with mild to moderate migraine headaches.
" (FDA Talk Paper) That was back in 1998.
The basic ingredients in Excedrin Migraine are acetaminophen
, and caffeine
. Today, pain killers with these ingredients, or two or one of them, are actually quite common. Acetaminophen (Tylenol or Paracetamol) is a well known painkiller. Aspirin is also well known, and it cuts down on pain and inflammation. Caffeine enhances the qualities of the other two, and may have some headache-fighting qualities of its own.
Though these are considered to be generally safe ingredients, it's important to keep in mind how much you're taking. For example, you might take a cold medication and
this and find that you have overdosed on the acetaminophen (paracetamol). For more on Tylenol read here
Most of us have heard of caffeine, though you may not know it's a popular headache medicine. Again, you need to be careful about taking too much caffeine
. Though it can help with the pain-killing, it can also increase the possibility of rebound headache
. And that can turn a bad migraine dream into a nightmare.
Now it's available in three forms: geltabs
, and caplets
. According to the official website all are equally effective, though some people find some kinds easier to swallow than others.
What is this medicine for?
It may seem obvious - Excedrin Migraine is for migraine, right? Well, yes and no. When the FDA approved the new drug in 1998, it clarified: Although migraine headaches can include significant symptoms other than pain, this product is indicated only for treating pain associated with migraines.
Migraine involves a whole lot more than migraine headaches. In fact, it's possible to have migraine with no headache at all. This medication is specifically for the headache associated with migraine, and the phrasing is no accident.
And, of course, it's not intended for any old headache, but specifically for migraine. (How can I tell if it's migraine?)
More thoughts on specific migraine headache medication here.
Apart from the cautions above, there are other warnings to notice. First, it's important not to drink alcohol while taking this medication (due to problems with liver damage). Also, you should be careful if you've had allergic reactions to any painkillers (even those other than the ones above). Also, if you have a recurring headache, or a new headache, or one different than any you've had before, you need to see a doctor right away.
For more general cautions about this medication, see the packaging on the Excedrin Migraine website, or this extended information at drugs.com. To find various types of Excedrin Migraine online, do a search on our search page in the drugstore.com box.
One more useful tip: Drink a full glass of water after taking your medication. It helps to make sure the medicine gets where it's needed ASAP - especially important when it comes to migraine.
Read about another Excedrin product - Excedrin Tension Headache.