Headache sufferers can soon breathe a sigh of relief. Excedrin, which was removed from store shelves over six months ago, will be back within a couple of months, according to its manufacturer.
In January, the drug company Novartis voluntarily recalled batches of some of its products and stopped manufacturing them while it sought to strengthen quality standards at its plants.
But the company has resumed production of Excedrin, according to its Facebook page, and Excedrin Migraine will be the first product to return to market. It should begin appearing on store shelves in October.
The recall was prompted by consumer complaints of chipped and broken pills and the possibility of tablets being mixed up at the Novartis plant in Nebraska.
Excedrin and NoDoz products with expiration dates of Dec. 20, 2014 or earlier as well as Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention products with expiration dates of Dec. 20, 2013 or earlier were recalled nationwide.
In a press release announcing the recall, Novartis stated that bottles containing mixed drugs could result in allergic reactions or overdoses. However, the company said it did not know of anyone who had suffered adverse side effects as a result of the issues.
ìWe are committed to ensuring the highest standard for patients who rely on our products and medicines,î Joseph Jimenez, the CEO of Novartis, said in a prepared statement.
In January, Novartis said it planned to gradually resume operations at the Nebraska plant following the implementation of planned improvements in agreement with the Food and Drug Administration.
Studies show that 64 percent of women and 53 percent of men ages 55 to 74 experience headaches, according to a 2003 presentation by Dr. David Capobianco, assistant professor of the Mayo Medical School in Florida.
Headaches are the 10th most prevalent illness symptom experienced by elderly woman and the 14th most common among older men, Capobianco reports.
Some people, loyal to the Excedrin brand and believing it to be the best product to cure headaches and muscle pain, reportedly had been turning to Ebay and other sites seeking to purchase the drug at highly inflated prices. Dr. Eric Moskow of Empire Gate Medical Group, which has offices in Jamaica and Manhattan, called that ìridiculous.î
ìAll over-the-counter drugs have their role ó ibuprofen, aspirin ó and different people respond to different medications in different ways,î Moskow said. ìFrom a doctorís point of view any of these drugs used in the proper way can be helpful.î
Moskow said none of his patients have complained about not being able to find Excedrin. He added that there are simple substitutes for the drug, which contains three ingredients ó aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine.
The Excedrin Facebook page has 285,422 likes and there is no shortage of people singing its praises and demanding that it be put back on store shelves.
ìYou have no idea how Iíve suffered!!! None!! No joke!!î wrote Carolina Nena Cruz.
ìI wanna know why the hell you stopped this Med in the first place???? I have bad Migraines and Excedrin [is] the only thing [that] worked for me.. I have been in such pain cause you stopped it.. why???î wrote Farrah Golden.
Curt Constable, the owner of Medicine Cabinet pharmacy on Parsons Boulevard in Jamaica, said only a few of his customers have complained about not being able to find Excedrin.
While fans of the drug are waiting for its return, the company has offered some advice on its Excedrin Facebook page, related to curbing the symptoms often associated with migraines.
ìPoor sleep can increase the number of headaches you get and their intensity. Are you getting enough sleep?î reads one post.
Migraines can also lead to nausea, so another message says, ìGinger is a natural remedy used in some cultures to help soothe nausea. Try boiling some ginger with one part sugar to two parts water to make a simple syrup to add to any drink.î