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Excedrin, Migraine, and Headache faq

Answering your questions about head pain.


Usage & Safety

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Safety

  • I have heard that caffeine may not be safe. Is that true?

    Caffeine has been an ingredient in both OTC and prescription drug products for many decades. Medical research has demonstrated that caffeine is a safe and effective addition to the combination of acetaminophen and aspirin in medications for relief of pain when used at the appropriate dose. The acetaminophen-aspirin-caffeine combination is approved and clinically proven to be effective and well-tolerated for the relief of both migraine and tension-type headache pain, but as always, you should follow package directions.

    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 heartbeat.

    Learn more about caffeine here: https://www.excedrin.com/articles/caffeine/

  • Can you give kids Excedrin Migraine?

    Excedrin Migraine is not recommended for people under age 18.

    View the full Ingredient and Dosing Chart.

  • Is it safe to take products containing acetaminophen?

    The FDA has determined that acetaminophen is safe for most people to use, when taken as directed. Take acetaminophen and all other medications according to the package directions. For further information or to discuss personal health concerns, please consult your pharmacist or physician.

  • What can I take with Excedrin?

    You should ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking Excedrin products if you are taking any other drug.

  • Can you take Excedrin with alcohol?

    Excedrin products contain acetaminophen. Severe liver damage may occur if you consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using these products. Most Excedrin products also contain aspirin, an NSAID, which may cause severe stomach bleeding. The chance is higher if you have 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using these products.

  • I’m already taking another drug for migraine; can I take Excedrin Migraine too?

    If you are taking a prescription medication, please consult your doctor before combining it with any over-the-counter medication, including Excedrin® Migraine.

Dosage

  • How many Excedrin can I take in a day?

    Adults and children 12 years of age and older should follow the below dosage guidelines:

    Excedrin Extra Strength – 2 caplets or geltabs every 6 hours (max. 8 per day)
    Excedrin Tension Headache – 2 caplets every 6 hours (max. 6 per day)

    Adults age 18 or older should follow the below dosage guidelines when taking Excedrin Migraine:

    Excedrin Migraine – 2 caplets or geltabs per day
    View the full Ingredient and Dosing Chart.

Side Effects

Headache Causes

Body

  • Do children experience headaches in the same way the adults do? Could this be related to the stress of adolescence?

    Approximately 70% of children have experienced some degree of headache by the age of 15. The stresses of adolescence, such as peer pressure, developing sexuality, and conflicts with parents, are known contributors to headache development. The typical lifestyle of an adolescent, including irregular eating and sleeping habits, may also trigger headaches. In some young women, the onset of their menstrual cycle may be linked with the onset of headaches. To help your child deal with headaches, try to remove triggering factors where possible, encourage relaxation techniques or biofeedback, while providing comfort and counsel.

    Occasional use of over-the-counter pain relievers may also be appropriate, but remember to exercise caution when using medications containing aspirin for children under the age of 15 due to the risk of Reye's syndrome. It is important to know when to seek medical attention, especially with young children. Some symptoms to be aware of are headaches accompanied by fever, drowsiness, rash, or vomiting, and those after head trauma. See a doctor when treating a child with a pain reliever for headache. See the dosing guidelines on the packaging of OTC medication to confirm the appropriate age range for use and dose.

  • A friend told me that poor posture could be the cause of my frequent headaches. Is that true?

    Definitely. Many people get headaches or make their headaches worse because of poor posture. If you hold your head up in proper alignment with your body, there's less strain on your muscles. But if it is held forward of its proper position, it places strain on the muscles of the neck and upper back.

    Certain positions can lead to muscle strain and headache if they're held for a time. If you hold a particular position such as bending over a typewriter, holding the phone between your shoulder and your head, or doing any type of repetitive movement, you could be vulnerable to headache. One way to counteract these stresses is to change position frequently. Every 45 minutes or so, give yourself a three to five minute "break." Get up from your desk and walk to the copy machine or do some filing, anything as long as you change positions.

  • I always get headaches right before my period. Is there a connection?

    There could be. Headache activity is influenced by fluctuations in the menstrual-related hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. This can lead to headaches around the time of menstruation or mid-cycle, during ovulation. Premenstrual headaches, which may strike as migraines or tension-type, afflict 10 million American women.

    Learn more about menstrual migraines.

  • I get a headache when I read for long periods. Is there something I can do to prevent it?

    Yes. Eyestrain headaches may be caused by reading in poor light or reading for long periods without a break. Technically, it's not your eyes you are straining but the muscles around them, which are used for squinting, blinking, or reacting to a glare or dim light.

    To help prevent eyestrain, read in good light and take a five-minute break at least once an hour, gaze around the room periodically, and change the focus of your eyes from close to long range. See an eye care specialist since you may need corrective lenses or a change in your current lens prescription.

    Whenever your eyes feel strained, try this exercise: remove any lenses or glasses and turn down the lights or go to a dim room, put your hands over your eyes so your palms block out the light, look into the blackness for 30 seconds, close your eyes again, lower your hands, and open your eyes slowly.

  • I have started to get headaches since beginning a job as a computer operator. Could eyestrain be a factor?

    Possibly, yes. Eyestrain headaches can result from contraction of muscles in and around the eyes. They are common among computer workers. These headaches cause mild pain in the forehead or in the eyes themselves, which frequently improves after the eyes are rested.

    Taking five minute breaks every hour and shifting the focus of your eyes from close up to far away may help prevent eyestrain headaches. However, eyestrain is generally not a cause of recurrent or chronic headaches. If you suffer frequently, you should have your eyes checked to determine your need for glasses or a new lens prescription, and to rule out glaucoma, which can cause headache symptoms.

  • What causes my headaches?

    Some headaches are caused or "triggered" in a variety of ways. For some headache sufferers, changes in weather as well as odors, foods, alcoholic beverages, stress, and other factors may "trigger" headaches. Some triggers are more common than others — alcohol, sugar, chocolate, fatty foods, and citrus fruits are among them.
    Learn more about causes of headaches.

  • My wife suffers from headaches, and she smokes. Could these two things be related?

    Yes, they could. Research has shown that there is a relationship between headache activity and cigarette smoking. There is also an association between brands with higher nicotine and more frequent occurrence of headaches. If your wife would like to quit smoking, these findings may provide the incentive she needs.

  • Why do some people tend to get their headaches after a stressful situation has passed?

    For some people, stress may be a function of everyday life. A demanding job or boss, financial, marital, or other interpersonal problems may be the rule rather than the exception. It is only during periods of relaxation such as after work or weekends when stresses are lessened that these individuals may experience headaches.

    These headaches are not psychological, but rather physical in nature. During times of prolonged stress, the blood vessels constrict and tighten. When the stress is gone and these people are finally able to relax, the blood vessels dilate and may result in headache. A good way to try to avoid this cycle is to attempt to minimize stressful times and try to keep busier during leisure times.

    Learn more about stress headaches.

  • Stress and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome - is there a connection?

    There may be. TMJ syndrome is believed to be due to the misalignment of the teeth and the jaw, and the strain of the surrounding muscles used to compensate for this misalignment. In some cases, it may also be due to an arthritic condition of the joints. Some people respond to stress by clenching their jaw, or grinding their teeth both during the day as well as at night. If you suffer from TMJ syndrome and respond to stress in this way, you may actually be compounding the problem. Consider self-massage as a way to alleviate some of the stress, and see your doctor, dentist, or a TMJ specialist for further information.

Environment

  • I've heard that working in some office building can give you headaches. Is this true?

    While it's not the office building itself that may be giving you the headache, the air within the building could be. The cause of your headache could be due to a lack of free flowing fresh air. Chemicals and pollutants such as asbestos, toxins from the heating or air conditioning systems, chemical cleaners, pesticides, and second hand cigarette smoke may become sealed in the building and are all possible headache triggers. If you believe your building's environment is the cause of your headaches, try using an electric air cleaner, an air ionizer, or simply opening the windows.

  • Can allergies cause headaches?

    The relationship between allergies and headaches is generally related to allergy symptoms. Some headaches do occur at the same time as allergies, particularly when grass, pollen, or ragweed counts are high. Headache specialists tend to agree that allergies are usually not the cause of severe or recurrent headaches. Sinus headaches are more likely to occur as the result of the buildup of mucus in the sinus cavities. You should see a doctor to determine an appropriate treatment.

    Learn more about allergies and headaches.

  • I often get a headache just as a big storm approaches. Is that more than a coincidence?

    It may be. Changes in the weather, usually from good to bad, can trigger a migraine or other type of headache. Some migraine sufferers can actually predict their headaches by changes in the weather. Scientists theorize that as a storm front approaches, changes in the barometric pressure affect the headache sufferer, triggering a migraine attack.

    Learn more about weather and headaches.

  • Can allergies cause headaches?

    It is generally a misconception that allergies cause headaches. However, allergies can cause symptoms such as sinus congestion, which can lead to headache pain. If you have allergies, the treatment for your allergy can relieve your allergy symptoms, but may not relieve your headache pain. The two conditions often must be treated separately. See your doctor to ensure proper treatment.

Food

  • Can the foods I eat be causing my headaches?

    It's possible. Certain foods — including those that contain tyramine (such as hard cheeses) or nitrites (such as processed meats) — commonly trigger migraine headaches. Chocolate and alcohol (particularly red wine and beer) are also common triggers in some people. So are some fruits, yogurt, MSG, and freshly-baked breads. However, there does not appear to be a causal link between food and tension headaches. So, if you find that giving up a particular food makes your headache go away, chances are you had a migraine.

    Learn more about foods that cause headaches.

  • Why do I get headaches from eating ice cream?

    We don't understand completely what causes the throbbing head or face pain that some people feel when they take a bite of ice cream or swallowing other cold substances. It most likely has to do with the sudden cold shock sent to the warm tissues of the mouth and throat. Sensations of discomfort are then carried by various nerves from the front of the mouth and the back of the throat to other parts of the head, and lasts less than five minutes. Although there is no treatment for these types of headaches, you can avoid them. Eat more slowly and in smaller amounts. Allow ice cream to melt in your mouth before swallowing, this helps cool off the warm tissues in your mouth gradually.

    Learn more about ice cream and headaches.

Product Information

Ingredients

Product Details

  • What is the difference between Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin Extra Strength?

    The product approved for migraine headache is the same Excedrin® Extra Strength formula that has been on the market for more than 30 years. The FDA required that new labeling be created to address important patient information, instructions, and warnings for use in treating migraine headache pain.

  • What is Excedrin & what is it used for?

    Excedrin products are over-the-counter medications that deliver fast relief for different types of headaches.

    Excedrin Extra Strength relieves aches and pains due to headache, a cold, arthritis, muscular aches, toothache, premenstrual and menstrual cramps and other minor aches and pains.
    Excedrin Migraine provides relief from migraines, and is the number one neurologist-recommended migraine treatment in the U.S.*
    Excedrin Tension Headache relieves aches and pains associated with headaches and muscular aches.
    * Among OTC medicine for migraines. IQVIA, Inc., 2018

    Learn more about Excedrin products.

Buying Excedrin

  • Can I use an HSA or FSA to buy Excedrin products?

    You can use your HSA and FSA tax-preferred savings account to purchase certain OTC products including Excedrin®. The passage of the CARES Act by Congress includes provisions to restore OTC eligibility under tax-preferred HSA and FSA accounts. Your plan details may vary, so save your receipt and check with your benefits or health provider for eligibility.

    Source: https://www.chpa.org/Monograph_FSA_CARES.aspx

Migraines

What is a Migraine

  • What is a migraine headache?

    A migraine headache is a recurring, throbbing pain that usually affects one side of the head, but may affect both sides. Migraine sufferers describe the pain ranging from mild to searing, excruciating, stabbing, and even debilitating. Typically, the pain begins in and around the eye or temple. A migraine attack is usually accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia), and sometimes vomiting. The pain is often worsened by physical activity, such as mild exercise, bending over, or even changing position suddenly. You should see a doctor for diagnosis.

    Learn more about what a migraine is.

  • What happens during a migraine attack?

    Many scientists believe that migraine headaches occur when arteries to the brain constrict, then dilate, resulting in the throbbing pain of a migraine headache. It isn't known what causes the blood vessels to constrict and dilate, but abnormally low blood levels of a chemical substance called serotonin may trigger the contractions. Migraine attacks can be disabling. More than 80% of migraine sufferers report at least some headache-related disability: 50% or more report mild or moderate disability, such as being unable to work or engage in usual daily activities; and about 30% report severe disability, sometimes requiring bed rest.

    Learn more about what happens during a migraine attack.

  • How does migraine headache differ from tension headache?

    Migraine headaches are usually characterized by throbbing or pulsing pain on one side of the head. The symptoms of migraine headache sometimes include sensitivity to light or sound, loss of vision, and nausea. Tension headaches typically cause a dull, steady ache above the eyes or in the back of the head. They are usually accompanied by a feeling of tight head pressure and occasional nausea.

    Learn more about the differences between a headache and a migraine.

  • How often do migraines occur?

    Attacks are typically occasional — one to three times per month — yet sometimes they occur two or three times per week and last from four to 48 hours, and sometimes as long as 72 hours if left untreated.

  • What is a migraine "aura?"

    The two most prevalent types of migraine headache are migraine without aura and migraine with aura. Approximately 10-30 percent of migraine sufferers experience aura during their migraine attacks. The migraine aura is comprised of neurological symptoms that most often include visual disturbances, such as flashing lights or lines, and may also include dizziness, numbness, or tingling that usually precedes the headache.

    Learn more about migraines with aura.

  • Are all "bad" headaches migraines?

    No. Tension-type headaches, which affect more than three-quarters of all headache sufferers and are five times as frequent as migraines, also can be very painful. They can interfere with job productivity, family life, and a general sense of well-being.

Who Gets Migraines

  • What causes migraine headaches?

    Migraines can be triggered by a number of things. Triggers can be emotional, such as stress, anxiety, depression, or even mild excitement. They can also be triggered by certain foods, including alcohol, chocolate, or citrus fruits. Hormones are also common triggers — many women experience migraines with changes in their estrogen levels during menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

    Learn more about what causes migraine headaches.

  • Who gets migraine headaches?

    Migraine headaches affect approximately 30 million people in the U.S. each year. The majority of them don't currently seek treatment for their migraine pain.

  • When do migraines first occur?

    Migraine headaches may first occur at a relatively young age, with the peak onset between eight and 12 years of age among males and between 13 and 17 years of age among females. The peak age for incidence is between 30 and 39 years of age. Migraines may occur less frequently and with less severity after the age of 50.

  • What is the effect of migraine on our society?

    Migraine headaches affect — and disrupt — millions of lives each year. While migraine attacks are responsible for missed family time, strained relationships, loneliness, sleep deprivation, and frustration, migraine also takes its toll on the workplace. According to the National Consumer League, migraine costs society at least $5 billion in lost productivity and 270 lost workdays for every 1,000 workers each year.

Migraine Relief

Types of Headaches

Sinus

  • What are the symptoms of sinus headaches?

    Sinus headaches are associated with a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose. The pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement or straining. The pain is usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, fever, and facial swelling.

    Whether your headache symptoms can actually be attributed to the sinuses will need to be determined by health care professionals. If your headache is caused by a sinus blockage, such as an infection, you will likely have a fever and require a prescription medication.

    Learn more about sinus headache symptoms.

  • What are the sinuses and sinus headaches?

    Sinuses are air-filled cavities (spaces) located in the forehead, cheekbones, and behind the bridge of the nose. The sinuses produce a thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose. When a sinus becomes inflamed, often as the result of an allergic reaction, the inflammation will prevent the outflow of mucus and cause a pain similar to that of a headache. See a doctor if you are experiencing sinus headaches to determine the cause.

    Learn more about sinus headaches.

Sleep

  • Why do I wake up with a headache on weekends or holidays when I sleep in longer?

    Many people experience headaches on weekends and holidays. In fact, the "weekend" headache is a recognized occurrence. Altered sleep patterns may contribute to weekend headaches. If you use weekends to "sleep in," you may actually be oversleeping, and that may cause migraines in some people. Migraine headaches can begin during the stage of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement (REM). REM sleep accounts for about 25% of adult sleep time. Therefore, the more you sleep, the more REM sleep you experience, and the more likely you are to get a headache. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule by getting up at the same time as you do during the week should help you avoid this problem.

  • Can headache pain affect sleep?

    People who experience headache pain may have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. This can reduce the duration and quality of sleep. Some over-the-counter medications, such as Excedrin, may also contain caffeine, which has been shown to affect sleep. Consult a physician or explore caffeine-free options if sleeplessness persists.

Tension & Cluster

Headache Relief

Headache Relief

  • What is biofeedback? Can it really reduce pain?

    Biofeedback is one of the relaxation techniques commonly used in headache centers. Simply put, a machine is used to provide feedback to sufferers about muscle tension, which is associated with pain. Using that information patients learn to reduce the muscle tension in their bodies. With practice, this effect may be achieved without the machine. Studies have shown that people who learn biofeedback techniques can reduce pain by up to 50%-70%. For more information, contact The Biofeedback Certification Institute of America at (303) 420-2902.

  • Can therapeutic touch on pressure points help relieve headaches?

    Studies have shown that moderate therapeutic touch – such as massage – can be shown to alleviate head pain for some headache sufferers, or even lower blood pressure or heart rate.

    Read more about how.

  • What’s the best way to handle a headache when pregnant?

    While pregnant, mild headache prevention may mean avoiding certain triggering foods, smells and noises. Light physical activity, such as walking, may help. Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques, and try to keep a regular diet and sleep schedule. Before taking any medication containing aspirin, such as Excedrin, consult a doctor first.

Headache Treatment

  • How are sinus headaches treated?

    Treatment of sinus headaches is usually directed toward symptom relief and treating the infection. Treatment might include antibiotics for the infection, as well as a short period of pain and fever reliever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin), decongestants (such as phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor to decrease nasal congestion), or antihistamines to treat the symptoms.

  • How are cluster headaches treated?

    While there is no cure for cluster headaches, using a combination of over-the-counter medicines and treatments could help decrease the severity and length of pain. Other treatments may include oxygen inhalation, injection therapy, or even doctor-prescribed preventive treatments. Always consult your doctor first for a treatment plan that is right for you.

    Learn more about cluster headaches.

  • How are tension headaches treated?

    Tension headaches can be treated with a wide variety of over-the-counter medications such as fast-acting Excedrin, and can also be treated with a combination of prescription medication and holistic measures (such as massages, acupuncture, or deep breathing). Always consult your doctor first for a treatment plan that is right for you.

    Learn more about tension headache treatment.

Usage & Safety

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Safety

  • I have heard that caffeine may not be safe. Is that true?

    Caffeine has been an ingredient in both OTC and prescription drug products for many decades. Medical research has demonstrated that caffeine is a safe and effective addition to the combination of acetaminophen and aspirin in medications for relief of pain when used at the appropriate dose. The acetaminophen-aspirin-caffeine combination is approved and clinically proven to be effective and well-tolerated for the relief of both migraine and tension-type headache pain, but as always, you should follow package directions.

    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 heartbeat.

    Learn more about caffeine here: https://www.excedrin.com/articles/caffeine/

  • Can you give kids Excedrin Migraine?

    Excedrin Migraine is not recommended for people under age 18.

    View the full Ingredient and Dosing Chart.

  • Is it safe to take products containing acetaminophen?

    The FDA has determined that acetaminophen is safe for most people to use, when taken as directed. Take acetaminophen and all other medications according to the package directions. For further information or to discuss personal health concerns, please consult your pharmacist or physician.

  • What can I take with Excedrin?

    You should ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking Excedrin products if you are taking any other drug.

  • Can you take Excedrin with alcohol?

    Excedrin products contain acetaminophen. Severe liver damage may occur if you consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using these products. Most Excedrin products also contain aspirin, an NSAID, which may cause severe stomach bleeding. The chance is higher if you have 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using these products.

  • I’m already taking another drug for migraine; can I take Excedrin Migraine too?

    If you are taking a prescription medication, please consult your doctor before combining it with any over-the-counter medication, including Excedrin® Migraine.

Dosage

  • How many Excedrin can I take in a day?

    Adults and children 12 years of age and older should follow the below dosage guidelines:

    Excedrin Extra Strength – 2 caplets or geltabs every 6 hours (max. 8 per day)
    Excedrin Tension Headache – 2 caplets every 6 hours (max. 6 per day)

    Adults age 18 or older should follow the below dosage guidelines when taking Excedrin Migraine:

    Excedrin Migraine – 2 caplets or geltabs per day
    View the full Ingredient and Dosing Chart.

Side Effects

Headache Causes

Body

  • Do children experience headaches in the same way the adults do? Could this be related to the stress of adolescence?

    Approximately 70% of children have experienced some degree of headache by the age of 15. The stresses of adolescence, such as peer pressure, developing sexuality, and conflicts with parents, are known contributors to headache development. The typical lifestyle of an adolescent, including irregular eating and sleeping habits, may also trigger headaches. In some young women, the onset of their menstrual cycle may be linked with the onset of headaches. To help your child deal with headaches, try to remove triggering factors where possible, encourage relaxation techniques or biofeedback, while providing comfort and counsel.

    Occasional use of over-the-counter pain relievers may also be appropriate, but remember to exercise caution when using medications containing aspirin for children under the age of 15 due to the risk of Reye's syndrome. It is important to know when to seek medical attention, especially with young children. Some symptoms to be aware of are headaches accompanied by fever, drowsiness, rash, or vomiting, and those after head trauma. See a doctor when treating a child with a pain reliever for headache. See the dosing guidelines on the packaging of OTC medication to confirm the appropriate age range for use and dose.

  • A friend told me that poor posture could be the cause of my frequent headaches. Is that true?

    Definitely. Many people get headaches or make their headaches worse because of poor posture. If you hold your head up in proper alignment with your body, there's less strain on your muscles. But if it is held forward of its proper position, it places strain on the muscles of the neck and upper back.

    Certain positions can lead to muscle strain and headache if they're held for a time. If you hold a particular position such as bending over a typewriter, holding the phone between your shoulder and your head, or doing any type of repetitive movement, you could be vulnerable to headache. One way to counteract these stresses is to change position frequently. Every 45 minutes or so, give yourself a three to five minute "break." Get up from your desk and walk to the copy machine or do some filing, anything as long as you change positions.

  • I always get headaches right before my period. Is there a connection?

    There could be. Headache activity is influenced by fluctuations in the menstrual-related hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. This can lead to headaches around the time of menstruation or mid-cycle, during ovulation. Premenstrual headaches, which may strike as migraines or tension-type, afflict 10 million American women.

    Learn more about menstrual migraines.

  • I get a headache when I read for long periods. Is there something I can do to prevent it?

    Yes. Eyestrain headaches may be caused by reading in poor light or reading for long periods without a break. Technically, it's not your eyes you are straining but the muscles around them, which are used for squinting, blinking, or reacting to a glare or dim light.

    To help prevent eyestrain, read in good light and take a five-minute break at least once an hour, gaze around the room periodically, and change the focus of your eyes from close to long range. See an eye care specialist since you may need corrective lenses or a change in your current lens prescription.

    Whenever your eyes feel strained, try this exercise: remove any lenses or glasses and turn down the lights or go to a dim room, put your hands over your eyes so your palms block out the light, look into the blackness for 30 seconds, close your eyes again, lower your hands, and open your eyes slowly.

  • I have started to get headaches since beginning a job as a computer operator. Could eyestrain be a factor?

    Possibly, yes. Eyestrain headaches can result from contraction of muscles in and around the eyes. They are common among computer workers. These headaches cause mild pain in the forehead or in the eyes themselves, which frequently improves after the eyes are rested.

    Taking five minute breaks every hour and shifting the focus of your eyes from close up to far away may help prevent eyestrain headaches. However, eyestrain is generally not a cause of recurrent or chronic headaches. If you suffer frequently, you should have your eyes checked to determine your need for glasses or a new lens prescription, and to rule out glaucoma, which can cause headache symptoms.

  • What causes my headaches?

    Some headaches are caused or "triggered" in a variety of ways. For some headache sufferers, changes in weather as well as odors, foods, alcoholic beverages, stress, and other factors may "trigger" headaches. Some triggers are more common than others — alcohol, sugar, chocolate, fatty foods, and citrus fruits are among them.
    Learn more about causes of headaches.

  • My wife suffers from headaches, and she smokes. Could these two things be related?

    Yes, they could. Research has shown that there is a relationship between headache activity and cigarette smoking. There is also an association between brands with higher nicotine and more frequent occurrence of headaches. If your wife would like to quit smoking, these findings may provide the incentive she needs.

  • Why do some people tend to get their headaches after a stressful situation has passed?

    For some people, stress may be a function of everyday life. A demanding job or boss, financial, marital, or other interpersonal problems may be the rule rather than the exception. It is only during periods of relaxation such as after work or weekends when stresses are lessened that these individuals may experience headaches.

    These headaches are not psychological, but rather physical in nature. During times of prolonged stress, the blood vessels constrict and tighten. When the stress is gone and these people are finally able to relax, the blood vessels dilate and may result in headache. A good way to try to avoid this cycle is to attempt to minimize stressful times and try to keep busier during leisure times.

    Learn more about stress headaches.

  • Stress and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome - is there a connection?

    There may be. TMJ syndrome is believed to be due to the misalignment of the teeth and the jaw, and the strain of the surrounding muscles used to compensate for this misalignment. In some cases, it may also be due to an arthritic condition of the joints. Some people respond to stress by clenching their jaw, or grinding their teeth both during the day as well as at night. If you suffer from TMJ syndrome and respond to stress in this way, you may actually be compounding the problem. Consider self-massage as a way to alleviate some of the stress, and see your doctor, dentist, or a TMJ specialist for further information.

Environment

  • I've heard that working in some office building can give you headaches. Is this true?

    While it's not the office building itself that may be giving you the headache, the air within the building could be. The cause of your headache could be due to a lack of free flowing fresh air. Chemicals and pollutants such as asbestos, toxins from the heating or air conditioning systems, chemical cleaners, pesticides, and second hand cigarette smoke may become sealed in the building and are all possible headache triggers. If you believe your building's environment is the cause of your headaches, try using an electric air cleaner, an air ionizer, or simply opening the windows.

  • Can allergies cause headaches?

    The relationship between allergies and headaches is generally related to allergy symptoms. Some headaches do occur at the same time as allergies, particularly when grass, pollen, or ragweed counts are high. Headache specialists tend to agree that allergies are usually not the cause of severe or recurrent headaches. Sinus headaches are more likely to occur as the result of the buildup of mucus in the sinus cavities. You should see a doctor to determine an appropriate treatment.

    Learn more about allergies and headaches.

  • I often get a headache just as a big storm approaches. Is that more than a coincidence?

    It may be. Changes in the weather, usually from good to bad, can trigger a migraine or other type of headache. Some migraine sufferers can actually predict their headaches by changes in the weather. Scientists theorize that as a storm front approaches, changes in the barometric pressure affect the headache sufferer, triggering a migraine attack. Learn more about weather and headaches.

  • Can allergies cause headaches?

    It is generally a misconception that allergies cause headaches. However, allergies can cause symptoms such as sinus congestion, which can lead to headache pain. If you have allergies, the treatment for your allergy can relieve your allergy symptoms, but may not relieve your headache pain. The two conditions often must be treated separately. See your doctor to ensure proper treatment.

Food

  • Can the foods I eat be causing my headaches?

    It's possible. Certain foods — including those that contain tyramine (such as hard cheeses) or nitrites (such as processed meats) — commonly trigger migraine headaches. Chocolate and alcohol (particularly red wine and beer) are also common triggers in some people. So are some fruits, yogurt, MSG, and freshly-baked breads. However, there does not appear to be a causal link between food and tension headaches. So, if you find that giving up a particular food makes your headache go away, chances are you had a migraine.

    Learn more about foods that cause headaches.

  • Why do I get headaches from eating ice cream?

    We don't understand completely what causes the throbbing head or face pain that some people feel when they take a bite of ice cream or swallowing other cold substances. It most likely has to do with the sudden cold shock sent to the warm tissues of the mouth and throat. Sensations of discomfort are then carried by various nerves from the front of the mouth and the back of the throat to other parts of the head, and lasts less than five minutes. Although there is no treatment for these types of headaches, you can avoid them. Eat more slowly and in smaller amounts. Allow ice cream to melt in your mouth before swallowing, this helps cool off the warm tissues in your mouth gradually.

    Learn more about ice cream and headaches.

Product Information

Ingredients

Product Details

  • What is the difference between Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin Extra Strength?

    The product approved for migraine headache is the same Excedrin® Extra Strength formula that has been on the market for more than 30 years. The FDA required that new labeling be created to address important patient information, instructions, and warnings for use in treating migraine headache pain.

  • What is Excedrin & what is it used for?

    Excedrin products are over-the-counter medications that deliver fast relief for different types of headaches.

    Excedrin Extra Strength relieves aches and pains due to headache, a cold, arthritis, muscular aches, toothache, premenstrual and menstrual cramps and other minor aches and pains.
    Excedrin Migraine provides relief from migraines, and is the number one neurologist-recommended migraine treatment in the U.S.*
    Excedrin Tension Headache relieves aches and pains associated with headaches and muscular aches.
    * Among OTC medicine for migraines. IQVIA, Inc., 2018

    Learn more about Excedrin products.

Buying Excedrin

  • Can I use an HSA or FSA to buy Excedrin products?

    You can use your HSA and FSA tax-preferred savings account to purchase certain OTC products including Excedrin®. The passage of the CARES Act by Congress includes provisions to restore OTC eligibility under tax-preferred HSA and FSA accounts. Your plan details may vary, so save your receipt and check with your benefits or health provider for eligibility.

    Source: https://www.chpa.org/Monograph_FSA_CARES.aspx

Migraines

What is a Migraine?

  • What is a migraine headache?

    A migraine headache is a recurring, throbbing pain that usually affects one side of the head, but may affect both sides. Migraine sufferers describe the pain ranging from mild to searing, excruciating, stabbing, and even debilitating. Typically, the pain begins in and around the eye or temple. A migraine attack is usually accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia), and sometimes vomiting. The pain is often worsened by physical activity, such as mild exercise, bending over, or even changing position suddenly. You should see a doctor for diagnosis.

    Learn more about what a migraine is.

  • What happens during a migraine attack?

    Many scientists believe that migraine headaches occur when arteries to the brain constrict, then dilate, resulting in the throbbing pain of a migraine headache. It isn't known what causes the blood vessels to constrict and dilate, but abnormally low blood levels of a chemical substance called serotonin may trigger the contractions. Migraine attacks can be disabling. More than 80% of migraine sufferers report at least some headache-related disability: 50% or more report mild or moderate disability, such as being unable to work or engage in usual daily activities; and about 30% report severe disability, sometimes requiring bed rest.

    Learn more about what happens during a migraine attack.

  • How does migraine headache differ from tension headache?

    Migraine headaches are usually characterized by throbbing or pulsing pain on one side of the head. The symptoms of migraine headache sometimes include sensitivity to light or sound, loss of vision, and nausea. Tension headaches typically cause a dull, steady ache above the eyes or in the back of the head. They are usually accompanied by a feeling of tight head pressure and occasional nausea.

    Learn more about the differences between a headache and a migraine.

  • How often do migraines occur?

    Attacks are typically occasional — one to three times per month — yet sometimes they occur two or three times per week and last from four to 48 hours, and sometimes as long as 72 hours if left untreated.

  • What is a migraine "aura?"

    The two most prevalent types of migraine headache are migraine without aura and migraine with aura. Approximately 10-30 percent of migraine sufferers experience aura during their migraine attacks. The migraine aura is comprised of neurological symptoms that most often include visual disturbances, such as flashing lights or lines, and may also include dizziness, numbness, or tingling that usually precedes the headache.

    Learn more about migraines with aura.

  • Are all "bad" headaches migraines?

    No. Tension-type headaches, which affect more than three-quarters of all headache sufferers and are five times as frequent as migraines, also can be very painful. They can interfere with job productivity, family life, and a general sense of well-being.

Who Gets Migraines?

  • What causes migraine headaches?

    Migraines can be triggered by a number of things. Triggers can be emotional, such as stress, anxiety, depression, or even mild excitement. They can also be triggered by certain foods, including alcohol, chocolate, or citrus fruits. Hormones are also common triggers — many women experience migraines with changes in their estrogen levels during menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

    Learn more about what causes migraine headaches.

  • Who gets migraine headaches?

    Migraine headaches affect approximately 30 million people in the U.S. each year. The majority of them don't currently seek treatment for their migraine pain.

  • When do migraines first occur?

    Migraine headaches may first occur at a relatively young age, with the peak onset between eight and 12 years of age among males and between 13 and 17 years of age among females. The peak age for incidence is between 30 and 39 years of age. Migraines may occur less frequently and with less severity after the age of 50.

  • What is the effect of migraine on our society?

    Migraine headaches affect — and disrupt — millions of lives each year. While migraine attacks are responsible for missed family time, strained relationships, loneliness, sleep deprivation, and frustration, migraine also takes its toll on the workplace. According to the National Consumer League, migraine costs society at least $5 billion in lost productivity and 270 lost workdays for every 1,000 workers each year.

Migraine Relief

Types of Headaches

Sinus

  • What are the symptoms of sinus headaches?

    Sinus headaches are associated with a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose. The pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement or straining. The pain is usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, fever, and facial swelling.

    Whether your headache symptoms can actually be attributed to the sinuses will need to be determined by health care professionals. If your headache is caused by a sinus blockage, such as an infection, you will likely have a fever and require a prescription medication.

    Learn more about sinus headache symptoms.

  • What are the sinuses and sinus headaches?

    Sinuses are air-filled cavities (spaces) located in the forehead, cheekbones, and behind the bridge of the nose. The sinuses produce a thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose. When a sinus becomes inflamed, often as the result of an allergic reaction, the inflammation will prevent the outflow of mucus and cause a pain similar to that of a headache. See a doctor if you are experiencing sinus headaches to determine the cause.

    Learn more about sinus headaches.

Sleep

  • Why do I wake up with a headache on weekends or holidays when I sleep in longer?

    Many people experience headaches on weekends and holidays. In fact, the "weekend" headache is a recognized occurrence. Altered sleep patterns may contribute to weekend headaches. If you use weekends to "sleep in," you may actually be oversleeping, and that may cause migraines in some people. Migraine headaches can begin during the stage of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement (REM). REM sleep accounts for about 25% of adult sleep time. Therefore, the more you sleep, the more REM sleep you experience, and the more likely you are to get a headache. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule by getting up at the same time as you do during the week should help you avoid this problem.

  • Can headache pain affect sleep?

    People who experience headache pain may have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. This can reduce the duration and quality of sleep. Some over-the-counter medications, such as Excedrin, may also contain caffeine, which has been shown to affect sleep. Consult a physician or explore caffeine-free options if sleeplessness persists.

Tension & Cluster

Headache Relief

Headache Relief

  • What is biofeedback? Can it really reduce pain?

    Biofeedback is one of the relaxation techniques commonly used in headache centers. Simply put, a machine is used to provide feedback to sufferers about muscle tension, which is associated with pain. Using that information patients learn to reduce the muscle tension in their bodies. With practice, this effect may be achieved without the machine. Studies have shown that people who learn biofeedback techniques can reduce pain by up to 50%-70%. For more information, contact The Biofeedback Certification Institute of America at (303) 420-2902.

  • Can therapeutic touch on pressure points help relieve headaches?

    Studies have shown that moderate therapeutic touch – such as massage – can be shown to alleviate head pain for some headache sufferers, or even lower blood pressure or heart rate.

    Read more about how.

  • What’s the best way to handle a headache when pregnant?

    While pregnant, mild headache prevention may mean avoiding certain triggering foods, smells and noises. Light physical activity, such as walking, may help. Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques, and try to keep a regular diet and sleep schedule. Before taking any medication containing aspirin, such as Excedrin, consult a doctor first.

Headache Treatment

  • How are sinus headaches treated?

    Treatment of sinus headaches is usually directed toward symptom relief and treating the infection. Treatment might include antibiotics for the infection, as well as a short period of pain and fever reliever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin), decongestants (such as phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor to decrease nasal congestion), or antihistamines to treat the symptoms.

  • How are cluster headaches treated?

    While there is no cure for cluster headaches, using a combination of over-the-counter medicines and treatments could help decrease the severity and length of pain. Other treatments may include oxygen inhalation, injection therapy, or even doctor-prescribed preventive treatments. Always consult your doctor first for a treatment plan that is right for you.

    Learn more about cluster headaches.

  • How are tension headaches treated?

    Tension headaches can be treated with a wide variety of over-the-counter medications such as fast-acting Excedrin, and can also be treated with a combination of prescription medication and holistic measures (such as massages, acupuncture, or deep breathing). Always consult your doctor first for a treatment plan that is right for you.

    Learn more about tension headache treatment.

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