You have a migraine? Too bad.

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I’ve suffered from migraines since I was 17.

Let me tell you about my first migraine. I was babysitting my four cousins when I got this pounding, blinding pain in my head, unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I couldn’t see. Like, literally I could not see. I was certain I had a brain tumor. Or something. I tried to not freak out as I called my mother, dialing the phone merely by memory of where the buttons were. Luckily, this was before you had to dial the area code when you made a call.

"Cocaine Hydrochloride Medicinal Cocaine"

Moments later, I was taken to my old-school, elderly pediatrician, who stuck a long cotton swab up my nose and did something. Precisely what, I’m not certain. I think — and I stress, think — he applied cocaine hydrochloride far up in my nasal cavity (it felt like he was rubbing it on my brain, but I digress…). It worked.

Whatever he did, it wasn’t something that he could do regularly, obviously. So, he wrote a prescription for migraine medication. I think the first one I took was Ergostat Sublingual. You put it under your tongue at the first sign of a migraine. Then, boom, taken off the market. Enter Midrin. Loved it. Worked wonders. Taken off the market. Tried Fioricet and Fiorinal. Not so great. Tried Imitrex. That worked briefly. There was nothing left. My insurance wouldn’t pay for anything else and, frankly, my doctor was pretty sure nothing else was going to work anyway. I had tried samples of other medications and they were useless.

"Excedrin Migraine"

So I tried…Excedrin Migraine. Excedrin Migraine was the first non-prescription medication that was approved by the FDA for migraine symptoms. It’s the over-the-counter medication that is most often recommended by neurologists. It’s the bee’s knees, man.

It was as though the clouds had parted and migraine relief had been granted. Finally. I stuck with Excedrin Migraine (not the generic forms, mind you)…and never looked back. And I would stock up. Sometimes there were Buy One Get One Free sales at the pharmacy…or they were in promotional packages with two bottles for the price of one…or I had coupons…whatever it was, I would stock up. Regularly. So much so, that when I took my last two Excedrin Migraine pills today and realized it was the very last of my Excedrin Migraine inventory, I knew I had to replenish my supply. And quick.

That’s when I was told that Excedrin Migraine was no longer available. Say what?!?! As in recalled. As in gone. Until further notice. The company that manufactures Excedrin products, Novartis Consumer Health, recalled all Excedrin products with expiration dates of December 12, 2014 and earlier. (They’ve also recalled No-Doz, Gas-X, and Bufferin products, but that’s not my problem right now.) According to reports, the January recall (have I been living under a rock?) was a precautionary measure due to potential product mix-ups.

You may have already heard about this, but I just learned about it today. Because I had that much Excedrin Migraine stocked in my cabinet. And now…none. Nada. Zero. Zilch. And there isn’t any to be found. Honest. I went out on a mission today and came up empty. But for those who paid attention to the news, oh, six months ago…are selling their Excedrin Migraine on eBay. (And people are buying it…at insane prices, mind you…because Excedrin Migraine is just that good.) For example…

"Excedrin Migraine Ebay"

I’m not sure you can see the prices too well but…they ain’t cheap. How about a 24-count box of Excedrin Migraine for $49.95? The description states that it isn’t part of the recall but, according to Novartis, all Excedrin products with expiration dates of December 2014 and earlier have been recalled. Yet folks are even selling coupons for Excedrin Migraine on eBay.

According to the Novartis website, they are “working to resume production.” What?!?! The recall took place in January! What is taking so long? What are we migraine sufferers supposed to do? I suppose — and this is a long shot — that we could try the generic brand of Excedrin Migraine (I don’t care what you say, the brand name has always been #1 in my book)…or, we could attempt to take the ingredients of Excedrin Migraine separately. That translates into 250 mg. of acetaminophen (generic Tylenol), 250 mg. of aspirin, and 65 mg. of caffeine per pill. I’m not sure that will work, though. No one is.

But, no one knows when we can get our hands on Excedrin Migraine, either.

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  1. Megan says

    I have been taking Ex. Mig. for a few years and agree it works wonders for my migraines. I knew/heard about the recall as soon as it happened. I had a few bottles stocked up (as you did with coupons, specials, etc.) so I wasn’t too worried, it’ll be back on shelves soon right? Ha, so I thought! I can’t believe it’s been gone since January! I have found that the Wal-Mart generic Ex. Migraine has worked for me, thus far, but I haven’t had a knock me down migraine since I ran out of Ex. I am relying on the generic for now, but if that quits working for me, I, too, don’t know what I will do. I can’t believe that the company can’t give a definate date that their products will be back on shelves. To read some of their press releases, it almost makes me wonder how hard they are trying to get things back out to customers! I hope you can find something to help your migraines! For now for me, it’s the generic pills and my fingers crossed that it doesn’t quit working!!

  2. says

    Oh, that stinks! I am so sorry to hear that you can’t get the medication that works for you at a reasonable price. I hope they get it back on the market soon!

  3. says

    Migraines are a huge bummer. I have been suffering for 8 years myself, which I understand is far less than you. However over the counter drugs don’t work for me. Maxalt(rx) orks somewhat well now, but ER dosages of drugs really kill everyth bit of pain. I heard about theexception recall. It’s because Percocet was accidentally put into OTC drugs made at that factory. You’d think they would have started up again! Excedrin has caffeine in it & I know that might seem gross but helps during my migraine attacks. Hang in th ere!

  4. says

    I am so sorry you suffer from Migraines they really stink. No special solution to offer you as I don’t really get them that often and usually take whatever is in the house Advil, Tylenol, etc and hope I caught it in time and then go to sleep.

  5. says

    I am sorry you suffer from Migraines. I do too and it is awful!! I had one three nights back and it took almost 24 hours to go away. I just needed to sleep. It is really so tough!!!

  6. says

    My husband and I both get migraines. He gets them often…me not so much. He take Zomig, but we have to fight with the insurance company to get his scripts filled. The doctor writes, then the insurance company gives us a bunch of blah blah blah about the manufacturers guidelines… which the doctor is following. AAARRRRGGGGGHHHH.I can usually get by with Tylenol 3, a big Coke, and a nap.

  7. says

    I see you suffer migraines too. I have tried about every OTC medication and I still have to find something that works. The closest thing to relief I found comes in a pill called Oxycontin. Especially the 80mg tabs help me a lot. Be careful, they are habit forming. Hope you are fine when you read this :)

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