I usually avoid medications unless they are absolutely necessary, but one of the staples in my medicine cabinet has always been Excedrin. I get the occasional migraine that puts me down pretty hard, and Excedrin is the only thing i found that I can bet will knock the headache out. Unfortunately, yesterday after hunting at two different stores to replenish my stash, I found out Excedrin had been recalled.

After asking the pharmacist why I couldn't find the pills he informed me of the recall that actually originally took place in January.

Packaging problems at a drug manufacturing plant may have resulted in powerful prescription painkillers ending up in packages of Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention. Novartis, Excedrin's parent company, announced a recall of the over-the-counter products, citing customer complaints about chipped and broken pills. That notice did not mention any concern that prescription painkillers might have been mixed into bottles of over-the-counter drugs.

All of the following medications are on the recall list:

  • All of the following Excedrin products expiring Dec. 20, 2014 or earlier: Excedrin Extra Strength Caplets, Excedrin Extra Strength Express Gel Caplets, Excedrin Extra Strength Gel Caplets, Excedrin Extra Strength Tablets, Excedrin Back & Body Caplets, Excedrin Sinus Headache Caplets, Excedrin Migraine Caplets, Excedrin Migraine Gel Tablets, Excedrin Migraine Tablets, Excedrin Menstrual Complete Express Gel Caplets, Excedrin PM Caplets, Excedrin PM Express Gel Caplets, Excedrin PM Tablets, Excedrin Tension Headache Caplets, Excedrin Tension Headache Express Gel Caplets, Excedrin Tension Headache Gel Tablets

Novartis is asking that all medications on the list either be destroyed or returned. Visit the Novartis website for a product return and reimbursement form.

Excedrin tablets are expected to be back in the market before the end of the year though the manufacturers have not been able to specify the exact date. The drug was removed out of most drug stores because of broken tablets. The manufacturers are currently working on some improvements of this drug.

Until then migraines can be treated with Motrin or Advil and a little caffeine, she said. "Tylenol, Motrin and Advil are all good for migraines. Excedrin Migraine is just Aspirin, Tylenol and caffeine." Most chain stores have a generic brand that are almost identical to Excedrin.