For anyone who suffers from debilitating headaches known as migraines, the past 10 months have been a major pain—literally. That’s because in early January of this year, Excedrin Migraine was voluntarily recalled from store shelves by its manufacturer, Novartis.
Novartis also recalled Bufferin, Gas-X, and No-Doz fearing the tablets could contain trace amounts of prescription opioid drugs.
Meanwhile, migraine suffers waited for Excedrin Migraine to return to store shelves…and waited…and waited! But, when Novartis gave no time frame for the beloved pills’ return to stores, consumers got desperate.
Websites like Amazon and eBay (the latter of which is no longer selling the tablets) became like a virtual black market for the drug, charging outrageous prices like $175.50 for 100 tablets; a bottle that normally sold for less than $10 in stores. Unfortunately, generic versions don’t always work for every consumer. While most generic versions contain the same amount of ingredients at the same dosages as Excedrin Migraine– which lists its active ingredients to include 250 milligrams of acetaminophen, 250 milligrams of aspirin, and 65 milligrams of caffeine– some people complain the drugs either take longer to work or don’t work for them at all.
Thus, those same people paid the black market prices.
Well, no longer—Novartis just announced Excedrin Migraine will be back on store shelves as early as next week, which was a huge relief for those migraine sufferers’ who can’t afford the high prices.
A National Health Interview Survey in 2009 revealed more than 21 percent of women and 10 percent of men had a migraine or other severe headache over a three month period. Headache sufferers’ are encouraged to talk with their primary care physician about treatment options.
The other drugs Novartis recalled should be back on store shelves by the end of the year.