Company voluntarily recalls Excedrin

April 27, 2012 5:11:51 PM PDT
A popular headache medicine - Excedrin - is among four Novartis drugs that have been pulled from store shelves. Bufferin, NoDoz, and Gas-X were also recalled back in January.

Loyal Excedrin users say nothing else can stop their migraines.

Lise Cameron loves her Excedrin.

"It's the only over-the-counter drug I've ever found that can control my migraines," Cameron said.

She stopped the migraine shots and strong prescription drugs in favor of Excedrin. But now she can't find it anywhere.

"The first time I realizedthat it was gone, I chased somebody down in the store and asked, what's wrong, what happened?" Cameron said.

Store shelves are empty because Novartis voluntarily pulled Excedrin because the FDA says there was a risk that it might be contaminated with opiate prescription drugs like morphine, which were made in the same plant.

When we contacted Novartis, the company said: "We expect a limited portfolio of products to ship in the second half of the year; therefore Novartis Consumer Health has engaged third-party manufacturers to bolster supply of select products which will help meet consumer demand."

"I have a lot of patients that is the absolute best thing for migraines but you can replace it with other over-the-counter medications," UTHealth Dr. Grant Fowler said.

Fowler says you can make your own Excedrin by taking acetaminophen, which is Tylenol, aspirin and caffeine. Or take Anacin plus acetaminophen.

"I went and compared it to the generic brands and they have the same formula," Cameron said. "I have found that it works as well; my daughter said it doesn't."

Now, she is hoarding her last three real Excedrin pills.

"I covet this," she said.

But she won't take them, she says, until she absolutely has to.


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