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The Side Effects of Excedrin®

What to know about the symptoms you might be experiencing—and how to handle them.

When you have headache pain, there’s a good chance you want relief from the pain—fast. Over-the-counter medications like Excedrin® can help ease your distress. While deciding which Excedrin® treatment is right for you, it’s useful to understand the uses, warnings, and side effects of each medication as well as how to handle them should they occur.

EXCEDRIN® EXTRA STRENGTH

Excedrin® Extra Strength can help you temporarily relieve minor aches and pains due to headache, a cold, arthritis, muscular aches, toothache, premenstrual and menstrual cramps.

The warnings and side effects of Excedrin® Extra Strength are:

Reye’s syndrome: Children and teenagers who have or are recovering from chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should not use this product. When using this product, if changes in behavior with nausea and vomiting occur, consult a doctor because these symptoms could be an early sign of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious illness.

Allergy alert: Acetaminophen may cause severe skin reactions. Symptoms may include:

  • skin reddening
  • blisters
  •  rash

If a skin reaction occurs, stop use and seek medical help right away.

Allergy alert: Aspirin may cause a severe allergic reaction which may include:

  •  hives
  • facial swelling
  • asthma (wheezing)
  • shock

Liver warning: This product contains acetaminophen. Severe liver damage may occur if you take

  • more than 8 caplets in 24 hours, which is the maximum daily amount
  • with other drugs containing acetaminophen
  • 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product

Stomach bleeding warning: This product contains an NSAID, which may cause severe stomach bleeding. The chance is higher if you

  • are age 60 or older
  • have had stomach ulcers or bleeding problems
  • take a blood thinning (anticoagulant) or steroid drug
  • take other drugs containing prescription or nonprescription NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or others)
  • have 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product
  • take more or for a longer time than directed

Caffeine warning: The recommended dose of this product contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Limit the use of caffeine-containing medications, foods, or beverages while taking this product because too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and, occasionally, rapid heart beat.

Do not use:

  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to acetaminophen, aspirin or any other pain reliever/fever reducer
  • with any other drug containing acetaminophen (prescription or nonprescription). If you are not sure whether a drug contains acetaminophen, ask a doctor or pharmacist.

Ask a doctor before use if:

  • you have liver disease
  • stomach bleeding warning applies to you
  • you have a history of stomach problems, such as heartburn
  • you have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver cirrhosis, or kidney disease
  • you are taking a diuretic
  • you have asthma

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are taking:

  • a prescription drug for diabetes, gout, or arthritis
  • any other drug, or are under a doctor’s care for any serious condition

Stop use and ask a doctor if:

  • an allergic reaction occurs. Seek medical help right away.
  • you experience any of the following signs of stomach
    bleeding:
          • feel faint
          • vomit blood
          • have bloody or black stools
          • have stomach pain that does not get better
  • ringing in the ears or loss of hearing occurs 
  • painful area is red or swollen 
  • pain gets worse or lasts for more than 10 days 
  • fever gets worse or lasts for more than 3 days 
  • any new symptoms occur 

These could be signs of a serious condition.

EXCEDRIN® MIGRAINE

Excedrin® Migraine treats migraines and is intended for those who have been diagnosed by a doctor. If your migraine is not relieved or worsens after first dose, talk to your doctor.

The warnings and side effects of Excedrin® Migraine are:

Reye’s syndrome: Children and teenagers who have or are recovering from chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should not use this product.  When using this product, if changes in behavior with nausea and vomiting occur, consult a doctor because these symptoms could be an early sign of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious illness.

Allergy alert: Acetaminophen may cause severe skin reactions.  Symptoms may include: 

  • skin reddening
  • blisters
  • rash

If a skin reaction occurs, stop use and seek medical help right away.

Allergy alert: Aspirin may cause a severe allergic reaction which may include: 

  • hives
  • facial swelling
  • asthma (wheezing)
  • shock

Liver warning: This product contains acetaminophen. Severe liver damage may occur if you take

  • more than 2 caplets in 24 hours, which is the maximum daily amount 
  • with other drugs containing acetaminophen 
  • 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product

Stomach bleeding warning: This product contains an NSAID, which may cause severe stomach bleeding. The chance is higher if you

  • are age 60 or older
  • have had stomach ulcers or bleeding problems 
  • take a blood thinning (anticoagulant) or steroid drug
  • take other drugs containing prescription or nonprescription NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or others)
  • have 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product 
  • take more or for a longer time than directed

Medication overuse headache warning: Headaches may worsen if this product is used for 10 or more days per month.

Caffeine warning: The recommended dose of this product contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Limit the use of caffeine-containing medications, foods, or beverages while taking this product because too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and, occasionally, rapid heart beat.

Do not use

  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to acetaminophen, aspirin or any other pain reliever/fever reducer
  • with any other drug containing acetaminophen (prescription or nonprescription). If you are not sure whether a drug contains acetaminophen, ask a doctor or pharmacist.

Ask a doctor before use if

  • you have never had migraines diagnosed by a health professional 
  • you have a headache that is different from your usual migraines 
  • you have the worst headache of your life 
  • you have fever and stiff neck 
  • you have headaches beginning after or caused by head injury, exertion, coughing or bending 
  • you experienced your first headache after the age of 50 
  • you have daily headaches 
  • you have a migraine so severe as to require bed rest 
  • you have liver disease
  • stomach bleeding warning applies to you 
  • you have a history of stomach problems, such as heartburn 
  • you have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver cirrhosis, or kidney disease 
  • you are taking a diuretic 
  • you have asthma 
  • you have problems or serious side effects from taking pain relievers or fever reducers 
  • you have vomiting with your migraine headache 

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are

  • taking a prescription drug for:
          • diabete
          • gout
          • arthritis
  • under a doctor’s care for any serious condition 
  • taking any other drug
  • taking any other product that contains aspirin, acetaminophen, or any other pain reliever/fever reducer 

Stop use and ask a doctor if

  • an allergic reaction occurs. Seek medical help right away.
  • you experience any of the following signs of stomach
    bleeding:
        • feel faint
        • vomit blood
        • have bloody or black stools
        • have stomach pain that does not get better
  • your migraine is not relieved or worsens after first dose
  • new or unexpected symptoms occur
  • ringing in the ears or loss of hearing occurs

EXCEDRIN® TENSION HEADACHE

Excedrin® Tension Headache temporarily relieves minor aches and pains due to headache and muscle aches.

The warnings and side effects of Excedrin® Tension Headache are:

Allergy alert: Acetaminophen may cause severe skin reactions.  Symptoms may include:

  • skin reddening
  • blisters
  • rash

If a skin reaction occurs, stop use and seek medical help right away.

Liver warning: This product contains acetaminophen. Severe liver damage may occur if you take

  • more than 6 caplets in 24 hours, which is the maximum daily amount
  • with other drugs containing acetaminophen
  • 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product

Caffeine warning: The recommended dose of this product contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Limit the use of caffeine-containing medications, foods, or beverages while taking this product because too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and, occasionally, rapid heart beat.

Do not use

  • if you are allergic to acetaminophen 
  • with any other drug containing acetaminophen (prescription or nonprescription). If you are not sure whether a drug contains acetaminophen, ask a doctor or pharmacist.

Ask a doctor before use if

  • you have liver disease

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are

  • taking the blood thinning drug warfarin

Stop use and ask a doctor if

  • any new symptoms occur
  • painful area is red or swollen
  • pain gets worse or lasts for more than 10 days
  • fever gets worse or lasts for more than 3 days

These could be signs of a serious condition.

EXCEDRIN® PM HEADACHE

Excedrin® PM Headache is intended for temporary relief of occasional headaches and minor aches and pains with accompanying sleeplessness.

The warnings and side effects of Excedrin® PM Headache are:

Reye’s syndrome: Children and teenagers who have or are recovering from chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should not use this product.  When using this product, if changes in behavior with nausea and vomiting occur, consult a doctor because these symptoms could be an early sign of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious illness.

Allergy alert: Acetaminophen may cause severe skin reactions. Symptoms may include: 

  • skin reddening
  • blisters
  • rash

If a skin reaction occurs, stop use and seek medical help right away.

Allergy alert: Aspirin may cause a severe allergic reaction which may include: 

  • hives
  • facial swelling
  • asthma (wheezing)
  • shock

Liver warning: This product contains acetaminophen. Severe liver damage may occur if you take

  • more than 2 caplets in 24 hours, which is the maximum daily amount
  • with other drugs containing acetaminophen
  • 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product

Stomach bleeding warning: This product contains an NSAID, which may cause severe stomach bleeding. The chance is higher if you

  • are age 60 or older
  • have had stomach ulcers or bleeding problems
  • take a blood thinning (anticoagulant) or steroid drug
  • take other drugs containing prescription or nonprescription NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or others)
  • have 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product
  • take more or for a longer time than directed

Do not use

  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to acetaminophen, aspirin or any other pain reliever/fever reducer
  • with any other drug containing acetaminophen (prescription or nonprescription). If you are not sure whether a drug contains acetaminophen, ask a doctor or pharmacist.
  • with any other product containing diphenhydramine, even one used on skin
  • in children under 12 years of age

Ask a doctor before use if

  • you have liver disease
  • stomach bleeding warning applies to you
  • you have a history of stomach problems, such as heartburn
  • you have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver cirrhosis, or kidney disease
  • you are taking a diuretic
  • you have asthma
  • you have glaucoma
  • you have a breathing problem such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis
  • you have trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are taking

  • a prescription drug for:
        • diabetes
        • gout
        • arthritis
  • any other drug, or are under a doctor’s care for any serious condition
  • any product that contains aspirin, acetaminophen, or any other pain reliever/fever reducer
  • sedatives or tranquilizers

When using this product

  • drowsiness will occur
  • avoid alcoholic drinks
  • do not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery

Stop use and ask a doctor if

  • an allergic reaction occurs. Seek medical help right away.
  • you experience any of the following signs of stomach
    bleeding:
            • feel faint
            • vomit blood
            • have bloody or black stools
            • have stomach pain that does not get better
  • sleeplessness persists continuously for more than 2 weeks. Insomnia may be a symptom of a serious underlying medical illness
  • pain gets worse or lasts for more than 10 days
  • painful area is red or swollen
  • ringing in the ears or a loss of hearing occurs
  • any new symptoms occur

These could be signs of a serious condition.

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