Empty Shelves Causing Headaches for Excedrin Users

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On eBay, there are a number of Excedrin auctions taking place with high prices and multiple bidders.

Excedrin users have had an extra headache recently – finding a bottle of their favorite over-the-counter painkillers.

Novartis, which makes Excedrin, voluntarily recalled the product in early January after an internal review and complaints turned up broken and chipped tablets and could not rule out the possibility of other pills mixed with Excedrin.

As a result, Novartis shut down production at the Lincoln, Nebraska, plant where Excedrin is produced. The company hopes to restart manufacturing there this month, but could not say when Excedrin will be available again for purchase.

That has desperate customers turning to alternative sources. Auctions sites like eBay are seeing brisk Excedrin sales. Earlier this week, 100 tablets of Excedrin Migraine sold for $131.50, after seven potential buyers entered 19 bids on the pills. Individually wrapped tablets, which are not part of the recall, are currently selling at steep mark-ups.

Excedrin customers seem to be very brand loyal, pharmacist John Cannizzaro said. A bottle of 24 pills might retail for about $4.99 in his Hudson Square Pharmacy in the West Village.   

“When the generic is available, they seem to just want the Excedrin,” he added. “And they’re a little upset about [it not being in stock].”

In addition to Excedrin, Novartis also recalled other over-the-counter drugs produced at the same plant, including Bufferin, Gas-X and NoDos.

Together those products account for about $1 billion or 2 percent of the company’s annual sales, said Damien Conover, the director of pharmaceutical research at Morningstar, Inc.

“It’s not giant, but it’s meaningful,” he said. “It’s weighing on the company stock price to some extent.”

The stock is down nearly 9 percent from pre-recall levels in early January.

Conover expects inventory levels will not be back to normal until 2013.


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Comments [15]


so does anyone now where in New York City December 1 2012 where I can buy?

Nov. 30 2012 10:55 PM

I am patience in waiting for the return.....15 minutes and I am good....I have to take Midol, its cheaper and I just have to double the dose and wait about an hour........Lets do this, 2013 hopefully January, it would be a nice holiday present!!!

Nov. 15 2012 03:36 PM
Diane from Erie pa

Need to see it in stores soon nothing else works.

Oct. 02 2012 10:46 PM
Pamela Bruns from So. Chicago Heights, Illinois

I have taken aspirin-free Excedrin for at least 25 yrs. Ever since I had an ulcer and are not able to have much aspirin. They are the only meds. to help get rid of my headaches. I have had a very difficult spring, summer and now fall without this medicine. Please start making this again very soon. Thank You.

Sep. 24 2012 10:43 PM
Donna Beard from Fate, Texas

I have taken Excedrin for 30 years or more. It is the only eadache reliever that takes care of my bad headaches, and does it so fast that they are gone before I know it. Please bring it back soon!!!!

Sep. 06 2012 10:32 PM
Altoona from wisconsin

I use excedrin to control my headaches,and have found that walgreens has a pain releaver with the same ingrediences as excedrin

Jul. 07 2012 06:25 AM

Thank goodness for Walgreens Tension Headache tablets. They are a great substitute, although the same price as regular Excedrin at Walmart.

Jul. 02 2012 04:11 PM

I can only use excedrin --It is crazy about the prices i have paid for excedrin --but like other people i have horrible and painful headaces which i hate!!-I hope excedrin comes back on the market, and yes ebay is a good way to purchase the wonderpill but it is pricely

Jul. 01 2012 01:27 PM
w7308 from ohio

i dont know what all they relly put into the extra srength excedrin but i think there is more in it then it states on the bottle because i nave had perscription tylynol with codene that didnt do what excedrin does for me i get killer head aches from work that work there way from my shoulder up the back of my neck and right behind mmy eye lid that cause me severe pain two excedrin and abought 15 min and like magic the pain is gone i have found nothing else to date that can do that for me hope they get it back asp and hope they have changed nothing with the ingredients it was perfect just the way it was.

Jul. 01 2012 12:53 AM
Fers from Oregon

I have tried Advil, Tylenol Extra Strength, Ibuprofen, Aspirin and nothing works. I could just take one excedrin a day and be good for the whole day. I really want excedrin back so it can take away my painful headaches and backaches due to old injuries. Its hard to find something that actually works without upsetting my stomach and causing weird side effects.

Hurry up and bring it back!

Jun. 29 2012 05:15 PM

buy cvs brand they are much more affordable and do the same job as excedrin

Jun. 14 2012 08:07 PM

Go to hotel gift shops, they may have the travel packs. I found 2 small bottles that way.

May. 22 2012 11:20 AM
Milosh from DC

I couldn't even find the store brand generic in stores. It seems everyone has snatched those up and now there's nothing.

I finally (after going to 4 different stores) found something by Bayer called Vanquish. It's the the same three ingredients as Excedrin, but the dosage is a little less. Here's to hoping it works!

May. 12 2012 05:22 PM

I am using Advil and it is not helping me. I did not find Excedrin today

May. 11 2012 01:11 AM
Hossein from Washington DC/NOVA

I can't live without Exedrin. I don't want to try anything else for my migraine

May. 10 2012 10:27 PM

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