There are more headaches for people suffering with migraines. It’s been six months and one of the most used over-the-counter medications is still not on store shelves. We're talking about Excedrin, and that shortage has some people scrambling for relief.
“Usually migraines, are 70 percent of the time, are going to be one-sided, one side of the head,” said Dr. Alex Bigham with Novocur Pain Management Clinics.
More than 30 million Americans suffer from migraines.
“Some are going to be visual disturbances, funny smells, visual squiggle lines that eventually leads to the pain,” Bigham said.
It’s that pain some people treat with Excedrin. But since the drug’s maker, Novartis, voluntarily recalled some packages due to the possibility it may contain wrong or damaged pills, that's left a shortage in drugstores and put a lot of migraine sufferers on the spot.
“They're buying [online] it from people who have already purchased it from retailers and now reselling it,” Bigham said. “There is always a possibility that the drug has been tampered with, possibly expired and possibly it may not even be Excedrin migraine in the bottle anymore.”
Instead of going that route, Bigham said some migraine sufferers may be candidates for the FDA-approved medications they give through an injection at the clinic.
“The procedure takes 10 minutes,” Bigham continued. “They don't need any sedation and they usually detect some type of relief before they have left their first visit.”
Some other alternatives Bigham recommended.
“Ice back of the head for 20 minutes right when you detect getting a headache,” Bigham said. “And for those with classic type migraine where we see visual disturbances in their eyes, before they get the headache, they should apply heat. And once pain of headache comes on, they should switch to ice.”
So far no word on when Excedrin is expected to return to store shelves.