What is Excedrin® used for?
Excedrin® contains a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer. Aspirin is in a group of drugs called salicylates. It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels to improve blood flow.
Excedrin® may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
How should I take Excedrin®?
Use Excedrin® exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.
Take Excedrin® with food or milk if it makes your stomach upset.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever lasting longer than 3 days, or any swelling or pain lasting longer than 10 days.
This medication can cause unusual results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Excedrin®.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Excedrin®. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
How do I store Excedrin®?
Excedrin® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Excedrin® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Excedrin® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Excedrin® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Excedrin®?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Excedrin® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Do not give Excedrin® to a child or teenager with a fever, flu symptoms, or chicken pox. Aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition in children.
You should not use Excedrin® if you are allergic to acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, caffeine, or any NSAIDs (Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Orudis, Indocin, Lodine, Voltaren, Toradol, Mobic, Relafen, Feldene, and others).
Aspirin may cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are taking Excedrin®.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take Excedrin® if you have other medical conditions, especially:
- Liver disease, cirrhosis, a history of alcoholism, or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day
- Asthma or seasonal allergies
- Fever with a stiff neck
- Stomach ulcer, stomach or intestinal bleeding, ulcerative colitis
- A bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia
- Kidney disease
- If you use medicine to treat glaucoma or prevent blood clots.
If you take Excedrin® to treat headache pain, seek medical attention if you have:
- A headache so bad you have to lie down
- A headache that causes vomiting
- What feels like the worst headache you’ve ever had
- A headache that seems different from your usual headaches
- A headache every day
- A headache after coughing, bending, exercising, or head injury
- If you have never had migraines diagnosed by a doctor
- If you are having your first headache after age 50.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There isn’t enough information about the safety of using Excedrin® during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Excedrin®.
What side effects can occur from Excedrin®?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Excedrin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal. This could occur even if you have taken acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop taking Excedrin® and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling. If you have this type of reaction, you should never again take any medicine that contains acetaminophen.
Stop using Excedrin® and call your doctor at once if you have:
- Severe anxiety, agitation, confusion, panic
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- A light-headed feeling, like you might pass out
- If you feel very thirsty or hot, are unable to urinate, and have heavy sweating or hot and dry skin
- Symptoms of stomach bleeding–bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- High potassium–slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness, tingly feeling
- Liver problems–nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
Common side effects may include:
- Upset stomach, heartburn
- Depressed mood, feeling anxious or restless
- Seep problems (insomnia)
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Excedrin®?
Excedrin® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with Excedrin®?
Excedrin® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Excedrin®?
Excedrin® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Excedrin®.
What is the dose of Excedrin® for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Analgesic/Antipyretic
Up to a total of 650 of acetaminophen and aspirin combined every 4-6 hours as needed.
Usual Adult Dose for Migraine
500 mg acetaminophen, 500 mg aspirin, and 130 mg of caffeine in combination per day as needed.
Maximum duration of migraine therapy: 48 hours
What is the dose of Excedrin® for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Excedrin® available?
Excedrin® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Excedrin®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: September 6, 2017 | Last Modified: December 19, 2019